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built into the planning process, which continues. we are very fond of quoting the commander-in-chief general eisenhower in the department, and when it comes to focusing on and preparing for battle, the planning process even of the dva above the plan is that process of bringing the different military components together identify in the scheme of the puzzle our abilities are and how those can be addressed and then interface and a very robust way with a political process to refer to your second question i think one of the concerns that we have at this point is that the military intervention planning has moved relatively robust fleet and is making excellent progress. the political development relatively speaking is underdeveloped as far as that road that is concerned whether it is the road map to elections
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as the ambassador was speaking to or a road map for the negotiations between the various disaffected elements in the north of bahrain to renounce violence and engage in an negotiations process. obviously if we get to a point of elections being held and being able to resume assistance with the forces, that will be an important step forward for the united states to be able to directly help the malian forces in addition to other contributing countries. european union, france, others have already begun to really engage with the malian forces, so it isn't as if there is an abstinence of support for them in the intervening period. >> what lessons have we learned, if i might, ms. dory and mr. gast, i think the mission just celebrated the 50th anniversary. we were actively engaged in the training a good thing as a part
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of the very probably democracy support and in trying to create and sustain a cultural democracy what lessons are there that we might learn going forward about political failures and more on domestic issues in the work rather abrupt requirement that we break off relations and support here has created a great difficulty with regional consequences. what lessons would you suggest we learn? the best of times mali is a country in crisis. it is a country that ranks of the model of a dozen. the assistant secretary carson mentioned 90% of the population is in the south and that population is also in the need of services. the government hasn't included
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both in the delivery of services as well as the governments of the country the people of the north and although we have implemented programs in the north unless there is a connection between the government and individuals, the programs are not going to have the effect of people feeling as though they are a part of society. and so, there was an effort planned over the last couple of years where the development partners in tandem with the government, the central government would deliver resources to the north again with a government out in the lead and with the donors supporting. unfortunately, the pace of that was too slow and not very effective. another point moving forward i think is that we do need to concentrate on decentralization and making a connection between the government services and the
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individual what the community level. >> to build further on the comments about the resource base within the mali clearly there are difficult choices for the government there that are involved in the guns versus butter types of decisions, and every sourcing for the armed forces was insufficient relatively speaking to dhaka building a threat that they now face in aqim. i think in support to the military, the provided training and equipping for both many years now, but in a relatively modest quantities, and i don't think that level of resources and that is commensurate with the threat peter thinks the other lesson learned for us is to look beyond the tactical level of training that's provided by the department of defense to consider what ways we might also engage in terms of institutional development with
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the defense institutions and that's something in the last several years where we are ramping up in the department of the ability to provide advisers and other types of institutional reform engagement with various military partners to ensure that just as we are looking at strengthening of the tactical level we are also focusing on the institutional strength of these defense institutions. >> ms. dory can we afford to wait a year for planning, training, assembly of a regional force for the completion of negotiations for the successful election in some press accounts aqim is described as this point the best funded and best equipped most potentially lethal affiliate in the world and those accounts are overblown but the
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suggestion is we should have an area the size of texas controlled by terrorists engaged in drug trafficking and kidnappings that have had an inflow of some sophisticated weapons. can we afford to wait a year for the regional solution. >> i think one of the things as we look at the situation can we afford to wait on the other hand can we not afford to wait for the political instrument to be more conducive to the military intervention and to allow the process of the force generation to proceed to train and equip and develop a force before it is employed to allow those process these to untold they clearly
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were concerned that it takes time to do so but moving forward as rapidly as feasible as the circumstances will allow us to do so recognizing the tremendous leadership that the african partners have already shown we are supporting a mazar fees' net planning process these. >> senator bayh isakson? >> if as said, secretary carson said, if the military discontent with the government support was a major catch a big factor, the military is pretty major catch a big factor to how successful and the election is going to be. they are in charge of the reform of the military for the injured
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on government. you know his capabilities and whether he is capable of pulling off the support that would take to bring the military together. >> the captain is a steel grid officer is certainly capable in terms of the activities that he has already caused creating a difficult decision by mobilizing others to support a coup whether he is capable of leaving the difficult efforts to restructure an institution and to mobilize the resources the will be required i would say that i question that as this morning. >> thank you very much. that's all of my questions. >> thank you for the testimony. >> i would like to thank you the first panel. i am mindful of the time and we have a second panel. senator isaacson and i know both are concerned about interested
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in this and we will follow-up with each of you with additional questions but also actions that are appropriate in ways that we might work together a collaborative flee to support the u.s. efforts and what is a very challenging and dynamic security humanitarian and diplomatic context. thank you very much for your testimony. we will take a brief break while the second panel comes. >> we would like to now turn to the second panel one today's hearing about mali and the path forward. our second panel will include
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mr. niikwao akuetteh and joining us live this is our first attempt at live testimony by google [inaudible] i suspect nobody has testified by this, the thing i didn't know existed. so my thanks to the technical assistance and the policy support of several very capable folks who made this happen. dr. fomunyoh you may begin and we appreciate your testimony today >> thank you, chairman to an and ranking member isaacson pivot on behalf of the national democratic institute, have the opportunity to discuss the political developments in mali. today crisis is two-thirds of
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the country which is humanitarian and has admitted for under 50,000 people. the political uncertainty in the capitol and the severe food shortage that is affecting the entire subregion. if this crisis were allowed to fester, it would have a long-lasting negative impact on mali and in the country's suggest niger with which mali shares very close borders. mali current transition because of the division of power and the influence among the three main actors. the president has given powers
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on the brokered agreement. as the left power in the former leader who continues to pull some. without strong political leadership and the decision making, the transition government would find it difficult to achieve its primary objectives which are to concur the countries in the northern regions and organize credible elections before may, 2013 when i was there in october the country seemed to face a conundrum because some argued that elections couldn't be conducted in the peaceful and in close of manner and the analysis estimate and others believed that the government is legitimacy in the may, 2013 deadline and that all the
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credible elections would provide the next government would take legitimacy to tackle the country's challenges. holding the elections before may, 2013 will require significant technical and political on the part of malians and development partners. increasingly, malians are demanding the appropriation not conclude the appropriations for the elections. concrete steps have to be taken to include the displaced operations and the refugees in the electoral process. given that the electoral law allows for them residing outside of the country to vote. working in collaboration with organizations such as the office of the high commissioner for the refugees that speaks with displaced persons and refugees the government could take steps to allow the significant population of refugees in the neighboring countries and the internally displaced persons to
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hold the region's. at the same time, as logistically challenging as it may be, holding elections in the major cities and in the northern regions would be this strong guest impossible of mali's sovereignty or territory and steps of rebuilding a democracy. the transition government is government plans and actions to the public and the crisis of legitimacy. the international community needs to harmonize its approach toward the pursuit of the polls that could lead to the legitimately elected government and military actions to detect the north. the contradictory public that take the military option off the table in the short and
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medium-term may only serve to emboldened the extra hauling them time to reinforce their presence. such also exacerbate fear there may be a conspiracy to breakout and to the civilian space rule out the hand of the pro-democracy forces within the country and for the work that is deeply invested in the space rule. many malians were proud of the country's democracy to consolidating the need by strengthening institutions and enhancing accountability and in the intelligence of the coup it's now been superseded by the
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consternation of the uncertainty that now hold us over mali. despite this facing democrats today i am optimistic that we would consider the efforts in the right kind of support there will be able to build a stronger renewed democracy that works effectively for all of the country's citizens. thank you very much mr. sherman and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much, dr. fomunyoh. >> thank you mr. coons and a ranking member isaacson. [inaudible] sorry. do i need to press something? anyway. i have a loud voice. since april we have conducted for research missions during
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which i have interviewed hundreds of systems and witnesses in both mifsud the government controlled south. i've also spoken with a wide variety of other individuals from the armed factions in various different groups and religious leaders. i am also in daily contact with malians all over who keep me in a. this hearing comes at a critical time not only for mali but for the partners included in the united states and the struggle to establish the vision and actionable plan. to put mali back together in a way that doesn't simply turn back the clock to december, 2011. i will today briefly characterize the findings by all factions very briefly. it's more detailed in the testimony that i've submitted and then highlighted issues they might consider as a craft response to the crisis and perhaps more importantly, the issues that gave the rise to it. with respect to the sliced
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groups since consolidating in the march, after the has become increasingly repressive as they tightened their grip over the population among whom i wish to emphasize they have precious little support. a business committed included frequent severe beatings, artery arrests against those engaged in the forbidden behavior such as smoking, drinking, watching television, listening to music or having music on one cell phone, countless women that i have interviewed have been beaten and detained for failing to adhere to their dress code. they carried out some executions including the january execution of some 70 malian soldiers which is to be the single most serious war crime of this conflict. also the islamists don't have for adultery. a witness i spoke with described seeing the man and the woman crouched hands down in a whole does the shattered the schools of first of a woman and then the man and they carried out at
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least eight as a punishment for theft. these punishments were off by the islamic police after the summary trial before the panel last hand-picked judges that can be described as a kroyt parity. there are soldiers as young as 11 and the witnesses have seen these kids in training camps and guarding prisoners and applying sharia to be in advance of the intervention the drama that the recruitment indeed a witness and spoke with yesterday had just seen, just visited three of the camps in the gallery in which he saw many children being planned. they also describe the mausoleum shrines, masks both in timbuktu as well as the country which hold tremendous significance for malians because they have denied the malians that have a tradition to be able to play or listen to the local music.
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putting one witness the heavy restore history and they've taken all disease from our life. with respect committee to metcalfe perpetrated numerous and often systematic abuses after taking over the town's. these included the abduction and the brutal rape often gang rape of numerous women and girls and the wide spread publishing of the ad agencies, government buildings and the use of child soldiers. it gave deneb's of the plea nothing to rein in their forces as well as even acknowledge that these abuses have taken place. with respect to the army, the of course a flight to a striking deterioration and a disciplined commanding control within the army. for example, in the days after the attempted coup on april 30 of the security forces under the command of captain disappeared at least 21 soldiers allegedly implicated. a witness i interviewed told me that at 2 a.m. the soldiers
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removed 21 men and put them in a blindfolded in a truck and they haven't been heard from since. many others described how they were stabbed, starved, burned with cigarettes and forced at gunpoint to sodomize one another. the security forces have also intimidated of positions including journalists who've never could by masked gunmen and after being one to stop criticizing the military. more recently they have done the same thing. the tried to abduct the home of a local rapper at royte a song's critical of the military. outside, the soldiers have detained and executed numerous men accused of collaborating with the groups in the north. most of the victims were arab. in september 16 as levesque creatures were executed in the camps, and in october, eight herder's were executed by the soldiers. again there's been no meaningful way to investigate and much less accountable those in any of
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these instances and as others have noted, disturbingly some that we believe we have testimony suggesting he's toured the implicated was rewarded with a position of being put in charge of the securities sector reform to read briefly with respect to recommendations i want to highlight four areas. the first is to publicly raised abuses by the u.s. government has been very strong in their condemnation of islamic behavior of the islamic forces. however, i would say they also have to widen the view that the criticism outside as well as the m in l.a. and they should investigate and prosecute those responsible as well as those against any attempt to include an amnesty as a part of the investigation. the second area addresses the rising ethnic tensions. over the last eight months i have observed an alarming increase in the tensions.
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perception of neglect or favoritism by the malian army or the international community of one or the ever has led to the community to seek redress for the grievances and putting through the formation of the militia and apparent organized plans to settle the outside legal framework. i cannot emphasize enough how and kennedy not only for the past violations in the rebellion but also more recent violation is fueling the tension from all different ethnic groups. in the long term for the future. to address this i year urged them to do a few things to remember one as the negotiation process takes shape ensure the grievances of all of the northern residences are heard, not just those that have taken up arms. the second would be to adopt a communications strategy that addresses the rising level of the tension and respond to the
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hate speech. number three, the u.s. aid support the malian civil society to be doubled to support the community really is and peacebuilding initiatives and that is something that shouldn't wait. it should be done now. fourth would be to ensure that the situation as discussed by the atrocities prevention board to read the third area that i want to address and this goes to senator isaacson is to adopt policy in the underlying cause of the conflict. the recent crisis is rooted in years of deterioration in the institution. the police, the army, the judiciary, the parliament protected and represented them adequately. the partners turned a blind eye to corruption scandals, commonality creeping into the state institutions, some poetry before by the security forces, and lagging development indicators countrywide but especially in the north. mali's judiciary which could've mitigated some of the problems with severely neglected allowing the danger is cultured and kennedy clan as we have seen, nor could traffickers, extreme religious figures and those of
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ethnic agendas to give advantage of this rule of law. the united states must support programs in the short and long term that serve to strengthen the institution. the last point is in advance of the military intervention and urged the u.s. to prosper a component within this military intervention to avoid some of these problems that we have seen with the intervention in somalia which failed to adequately monitor the human rights abuses particularly indiscriminate. thank you and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you. we have about 15 minutes left in the hearing. mr. chairman and ranking member of isakson thank you for including me. but i really appreciate that you are focusing on such a great problem so why can't thank you enough. on that statement i will just take a few minutes to highlight some of it but i would like for it to be kept in the record.
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i mentioned that some issues and the way that they descended we have to keep certain things in mind. one of them is the connection with libya. this particular one did not start because of incidents is that because of weapons and i think it is interest there is no share of the border with mali that the troops of men went all the way and it seems the question should be raised about why they were not seen. it's a mali army had been trained, and the counterterrorism program had the collapse very quickly. so it seems to me that also raises questions. i can suggest the full improvement particularly in the
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state department. mr. chairman, i looked at some people look at the crisis of three and others say full. i say the international community would be did to add a fifth dimension which is contagion because i think it's important whether three or four are inside mali that they are used in that and so concerned. is there a real risk that this would not be contained so i think it's important to stress the contagion. second, i think that the state department if we listen carefully my reading of the priority is well the elections first and by all means then negotiate in terms of the intervention may be frankly i think that issue would be the other way around. it's very hard to have real elections with so much and security around the populations, so the security issue is
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extremely important and i am reminded of what happened where they took five years to do in the election and questions were raised. i feel if you rush the elections you are giving people all kind of excuses who lose to stop trouble, so it's important to establish security so they can be credible. i also think that while the grievances must be addressed, and minority issues are very important, mali has almost 60 years of groups and so we must be careful that is not seen as a suggestion to other groups that the way to get attention is to create the same day this problem, and the fourth and final area of our policy
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recommendation is that i do think cents 9/11 the u.s. counterterrorism policy in africa i think the problem in mali should be an opportunity and an application to do a thorough review of the whole strategy because, for instance as i mentioned, its job was to make the malian army strong and the collapse very quickly. the operation which used mali as the base to train soldiers, again that raises a question of why the army come out so quickly. so i think this is an opportunity to be very thorough review and raise a lot of questions. my particular question because i really think that democracy is so important that in the
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training of the african soldiers i would very much like it is the respect for the civilian leadership and for democracy is stressed that the first thing they have to land is to respect the leaders and the democracy process and any training to make them better fighters must come second. thank you very much for including me and i will be very happy to answer questions. islamic thank you very much. you've been quite patient and if i understand correctly, you are at the u.s. embassy, and i'm grateful for you taking the time and being quite patient in joining with the six other witnesses we've already heard from and i would like to invite your testimony now. >> thank you very much.
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[inaudible] ..
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[indiscernible]. and live in a strong state with freedom, liberty and justice. the other expectation of the people is the intervention. this could happen and could bring humanitarian -- [inaudible] i want the international community to be aware about this intervention and how they can limit the consequences of this war.
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so for us the solutions we need to organize elections in mali for all -- [inaudible] central government is very important for the next process of negotiation. and this, i know that many people don't want to talk about elections today but it is a important aspect of the problem. [inaudible] -- outcome of negotiations as they go on. i come to the u.s. government to get very much involved in the with the leaders to -- [inaudible] without any conditions, to
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get negotiations. the u.s. government -- [indiscernible] thank you very much. i appreciate your time. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. mahmoud. i will ask one question. just, if i could summarize, and thank you for your testimony, each of the four members of this panel, the united states has had a long and close relationship with the malian people. we have long supported development, security,
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democracy. the developments of the last year, nearly two years have been very upsetting, disturbing, troubling. we now have a significant area of mali and many of its people facing security challenges, legitimacy challenges, human rights, fundamentals, human rights abuses caused by many different actors. this should cause us in the united states to reconsider some of our strategic approaches and some of our choices. if each of you had one suggestion for what is the most important tinge that we should be taking away from this hearing and pressing for the united states to do, whether to advance human rights, to advance a secure and credible election or to advance a regional strategy that is successful or to insure we effectively engage in the real human needs of the people of mali, what is the one suggestion for us, for our actions going
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forward? mr. mahmoud i will start with you, and mr. fomunyoh, miss dufka and mr. akuettue. >> [indiscernible] >> thank you very much. mr. mahmoud. mr. akuett e.u.. >> thank you very much. my joyce would be, recommended choice would be
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a regional strategy for combating terrorism. i do think if you look at what has happened, a lot of africans are being killed. terrorism in africa is not just a threat to the u.s. it is to africans too. the kind of strategy i will stress though is, i think it has to be rooted in democracy and social justice and good governance inside those, in every african country. that will take away the grief sanses and -- grievances and things that attract and create terrorists. if there are foreign terrorists coming around there are different ways of dealing with them because i think it has to be rooted in democracy. to combat foreign terrorism, what is happening inside countries is really dangerous. for two years some of us were worried about the lack
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of focus on the program in the move back to mali. i think the strategy is rooted in democracy as a way of fighting the big threats of terrorism across africa. >> i understand you given us the most difficult question. i would say a few things. of course i see things through the prism of rule of law institutions which as i have noted were very weak. i would say to encourage a dialogue of all, in which all malians can be a part and to focus on the tarigs and those taken up arms which is a tiny minority a lot of them were not in favor of this war. they felt it was a very opportunistic action on the part of a very few. to open with respect to the north to insure there is a dialogue so that all voices in the north can be heard and not just the tarigs that
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have taken up arms and dialogue to address underlying causes that affect all malians, not just those in the north that affect all malians. not forget the issue of addressing abuses and the culture of impunity which could potentially lead too much graver violations in the future as military intervention happens and is there, after a vacuum is left in some of these areas in the north which these things could happen. thank you. >> broadening dialogue and real accountability. dr. foe hundred yo -- fomunyoh. >> all of us are trying to draw lessons from the malian experience what happened to this country that for 20 years seemed to be a functioning democracy. one of the takeaways elections even held regular do not necessarily a effective democracy make.
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if we fast forward into 2030 -- 2013 and we have good elections, inclusive elections i think the one lesson we should all take from this experience the need for sustainable programs. democracy support programs shouldn't end with the support of a electoral process. we have to help the service delivery and strengthening of institutions. >> thank you very much. i appreciate those insights. >> i will be quick. i thank all of you for your testimony. mr. mahmoud, thank you very much for your testimony. you focused on one of first, most important need is a credible government in mali in the south. when i asked miss dufka a question, i asked the dod lady before, amy or amanda, every from your testimony captain sanago would not be
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representative of a reform, is that correct? >> yes. >> i think that is representative what mr. mahmoud said and what they need in terms of the government to build on. secondly want to make a comment. mr. akuetteu made a critical observation. adding contagion in mali and may be the biggest concern for the united states of america, if it spreads across boundaries and al qaeda of the islamic maghreb will be a continuing problem throughout africa. thank you very much. >> senator isakson i'm always thankful for your partnership and the way our staffs work together for these hearings. forgive us, it is past left vending our appointed hour. all your testimony, your written testimony will be submitted for the record. there were several or the senators who expressed real
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interest in this hearing today but due to their sqed us were unable to join us. i will leave the record open for a week which will allow senators to address questions to any of our witnesses and take some actions going forward. i'm grateful for the support of efforts that made it possible for us to get a grateful discussion of many challenging issues facing the united states in the region and in mali. thanks for joining us. dr. dr. fomunyoh and miss dufka and thank you for your testimony today. we're grateful for your testimony and with that this hearing is adjourned. >> the labor department today reports employers added 146,000 jobs in november and the unemployment rate fell to
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7.7%. that's the lowest since december of 2008. the government says hurricane sandy had only a minimal effect on the numbers. although the weather prevented 369,000 people from getting to work, they were still counted as employed. singer-songwriter james taylor will be at the national press club here in washington today. he will talk about election shun reform. c-span will have it live beginning at 1:00 eastern. at 7:00 eastern c-span will be live with a discussion on skilled immigrants. virginia senator mark warner is talking about a bill that will allow more highly killed immigrants into the united states. it will be hosted by the university of virginia. we've had explosions of knowledge in medicine but we've not coordinated care. all these services we have
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end up having so many cracks that the cracks are as harmful as the diseases that we're treating and you got to step back and ask, you know, are we hurting people over all, i mean on a global level? what are we doing sometimes? and of course now we've got the institute of medicine report saying 30% of everything we do may not be necessary in health care, when we step back, 30% of all the medications we prescribe, the tests we order, the procedures? this is something i think which is for the first time, really being called out as a problem. >> dysfunction in the u.s. health care industry. dr. marty makary on what hospitals won't tell you. his latest is unaccountable, saturday night at 10:00 eastern on "after words" on c-span2. pennsylvania senator bob casey on syria's civil war. he spoke along with incoming house foreign affairs
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committee chair ed royce on iran's nuclear program. the foundation for defense of democracies hosted this event. >> welcome. welcome again to the foundation for the defense of democracies annual washington forum. my name is mark argosh and i'm a proud supporter of fdd. it brings me great pleasure to introduce another senior official doing great work on capitol hill. congressman ed royce currently chairs the subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation and trade. last week he was selected to be the next chairman of the house foreign affairs committee. congratulations, congressman, on this new and important role. [applause] >> thanks, mark, thank you
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very much. >> it's no surprise that congressman royce has been entrusted by his colleagues with the committee's gavel have. he stands consistently at the forefront at the fight against global terrorist groups that threaten the united states including al qaeda. in his unusual prescience congressman royce also foreseen many of the developments we witnessed of late in the middle east. in the statement during the gaza war in the middle of last month before egyptian president morsi attempted to eliminate all judiciary checks on his powers the congressman made the united states interests plain. quote, president morsi insists that he rejects violence and is a force for moderation. now is the time for him to prove it. congressman royce has also shown deep commitment to holding the palestinian authority accountable for inciting its people to violence against israel and
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authored a bill to that effect this year. congressman royce understands the danger imposed by a nuclear iran, recently calling it the gravest threat facing the u.s. and our allies. as a respected bipartisan leader in the house, congressman royce was appointed as a conferee to the comprehensive iran sanctions accountability and divestment act of 2010. he is also considered the challenges imposed by the current situation in syria and continues to work toward a forward-looking u.s. approach calling a syria a chemical weapons superpower. congressman royce has been a especially concerned about the syrian regime's chemical weapons, stockpile which includes mustard gas, sarin, and vx, some of the most dangerous chemicals on the planet. where are these stockpiles? what happens when the regime falls? how do we insure these weapons do not end up in the hands of al qaeda, iranian agents or hezbollah?
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these are all questions congressman royce is exploring. america's influence works in ways large and small. few people understand that better than incoming house foreign affairs committee chairman ed royce. please join me in welcoming him to fdd's washington forum. [applause] >> well let me thank mark here and thank the foundation for the defense democracies. really what i want to express is my appreciation as a member of house for the work that you do, for the work product that you provide us. i can say i only wish we had deployed that more decisively sooner but in terms of what you do in research, in terms of the analysis that you provide, in terms of the communication, the ability to communicate that to members of the senate and the house, i have to say it's the whole package and
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it is very important work. and i think if i could share one thought in particular, it is your work on sanctions especially energy sanctions, that, i think has been critical and, i want to say congratulations. i saw, i saw director woolsey when i came in and i so much appreciate the briefing we have received from him and the ability to get the type of analysis also from cliff and mark and the whole fdd team. it's so helpful. if you were to ask me what is going to be the focal point of, what's the main concern we have, i think it has been and is going to continue to be iran for the foreign affairs committee and i think the administration frankly has, has lagged far behind the house. we've been far ahead in
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pressuring iran and a lot of that is because of your help. i think we have been united in the house in our effort to do that. i think that congressional pressure frankly is building, building quickly, in light of recent events and i'm looking forward of course to the conference report that we're going to see now from the national defense authorization act where we're going to have another chance to tighten thes into and i want -- the noose, i want to say that the ndaa amendment that would shut down most business with key sectors in the iranian economy, with energy and shipbuilding and shipping and the ports, this amendment that would shut down businesses that are involved in sectors which fund the proliferation
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activities of iran, of that regime is crucial. in addition, the amendment is going to prohibit business with all designated persons connected to the iranian government. it bans trades in commodities used in these key sectors. it's designed to stop iran from busting sanctions by receiving payment in the gold or using oil payments in local currency then to buy gold. and we've got to stop an effort to water down these sanctions. i say that because i remember the votes in the past. i, i remember our effort on the central bank. it was only because we got the unanimous votes frankly, that we got so much support, that we were able to deploy those, but let me add that there is another portion of the amendment here that
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targets the regime for their human rights abuses. and i think one of the areas where we really have been short, for those of you who have talked, those of you who have been in the prisons there, that experienced the torture, who have seen the murder, who have experienced the rapes, those are routine there today in iran. iranian officials are involved in that activity but also in massive corruption preventing humanitarian assistance, food and medicine from reaching the iranian people. they are the beneficiaries in some of this. and this new amendment would authorize the administration to designate these regime officials for human rights violations. now we know that the officials in iran are indifferent to the suffering of the iranian people. but we also know that brutal disregard they show to their
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own people will only be intensified if iran is successful in its nuclear weapons drive. next week i'm going to join my colleagues in the conference committee, to make certain that the administration does not water down these important new measures and frankly, the original measures, submitted, were even harsher. and i would like to see us move in that direction because i have been watching for years the foot-dragging that has gone on in terms of the ability to deploy the types of sanctions that would really be successful. i said on the -- i sit on the sada conference. i saw the administration's opposition to congressionally mandated sanctions. they were far too concerned getting ahead of oirt
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countries. should have been concerned in leading. if you look at the messaging, frankly that is just what we need to do but you look at that messaging and you see the problem. they were wrong then and i suspect their resistance to dropping the hammer is going to continue but i suspect also that we have a renewed understanding, interest, in the importance of moving quickly in intense filing this effort because the stakes couldn't be higher. iran is in violation of its international obligations from the pace of its nuclear development cited by the international atomic energy agency to its refusal to open parchan to iaea inspectors where it is suspected of conducting weaponization tests. i have seen the handiwork of the terrorist-sponsoring
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country of iran because i was in haifa in 2006 during the war with hezbollah as iranian and syrian-made missiles slammed into neighborhoods in haifa, slammed into the port. at one point they even targeted the hospital there. in that hospital i saw 600 civilian victims of these missiles, iranian-made and syrian-made and that inventory of iranian supplied weapons continues to increase arithmeticly as hezbollah expands its delivery capability. those of us who have seen the consequence of that kind of carnage can only contemplate the consequences if it happens that this terrorist sponsoring,
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genocide-threatening regime, ends up with the world's most destructive weapon. we know that the president has said, not on my watch, but we have to see the administration act with the urgency that this threat demands. we can not have opposition to the latest sanctions effort. we can't have business as it has been done before. we need sanctions that are going to turn the iranian people against the regime as fast as they can be turned. iran's leadership must feel that their survival is at grave risk if they continue on the nuclear path. and if they don't see it that way and relent, with broad sanctions, we have a better chance of bringing about the fundamental type of government change that would better assure a nonnuclear iran in the
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future. this strategy demands effective communication in farsi. the message in short has to be, our issue is not with iranian people. our issue is with the same regime that you take issue with. we know there is considerable resistance to the regime with iran. we saw great evidence of that during the green movement. we saw something to build on. unfortunately we're not doing a very good job communicating with iranian people, especially the young, those who really despise their rulers. the big missed communications opportunity of course was the president's shameful silence when brave iranians took to the streets and craved moral support. when nada and others died in
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the streets of iran at the hands of them, our president was silent but it is every day that we are missing opportunities with our ineffect wall public diplomacy. the regime is telling its side of the story and iranians go to great lengths at great personal risk to hear the other side of the story. what are we telling them? young iranians, about their government, about its atrocious human rights record? the deliberate, debilitating corruption of that regime? or about our respect for persian and azari culture? we're asking why is it that this regime is plowing money into nuclear weapons and giving the type of support they do to the assad regime in syria when its own people suffer. . .
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unef poor broadcasting decisions, in-house fighting, the outright nepotism at the broadcasting agencies. those committed to democracy need to work harder at making allies in that region right now 67% of the iranian people want an end to that regime, what a
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western-style democracy, do not want a theocracy and there is no reason that number shouldn't be 87%. >> this isn't the carrot and stick of traditional diplomacy. it's certainly not a grand bargain with a regime but it's a focus on the people of iran with a message that they are better than their government, and i think that is part of the philosophy. unfortunately, let me make this point, because i have seen this in administration after administration. i saw the bush administration go silent on the north korean human rights abuses when and bargained with a regime during the end of that administration. we will likely see an impulse of the same with the obama administration in iran, and that means congress will have to push very hard to see that human rights and dr. c. and the promotion of those principles in
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iran is on that agenda, for most on that agenda and with the help of fdd we will help do that. congratulations on your human rights panel this morning. congratulations on all you do, and one more time, i want to tell you the intellectual information, the data that you provide is absolutely essential. thank you for that and i think at that point we will take some questions. thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much. it is clear to all of us why you have been entrusted with this very important gaveled of cheering house foreign affairs committee following the very, very able leadership of the chairman. i understand we are on a tighter schedule and i realized and in a moment i am going to call up
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kenneth schwartz to introduce senator casey but i would be remiss if i didn't welcome the president here today, lieutenant colonel larry bird walk. in 1983 he was the commander of an amphibious unit in lebanon. in october of 1983, hezbollah terrorists through to trucks and exploded the american and french marine barracks and the lieutenant colonel survived it, to enter the 41 american women did not. he is here with us. we thank you so much and for honoring us. [applause]
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>> who wants to follow ed royce? not me. welcome again to the foundation for the defense democracies' washington forum. my name is kenneth schwartz, i'm a proud member of the fdd board. today i have the pleasure of introducing distinguished public official, robert casey, the senior senator from the state of pennsylvania. he served since 2007 as the chairman of the near east and south asia subcommittee of the senate foreign relations committee, and this is only in his first term. one can scarcely imagine more interesting or more challenging time to occupy that position. the past two years in the middle east we have seen the war across international borders. the collapse of the regimes that ruled for decades and the rise of the new political movements that may yet turn hostile to the united states and its allies. in the face of these new developments, senator kec has
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led the way on many issues of great concern to fdd. he's the founder and co-chair of the bipartisan senate caucus on weapons of mass destruction and terror was some. in that capacity he has worked across the partisan divide to highlight serious threat of mass preparation, weapons the proposed. few have done as much as a senator casey on the greatest threat in the middle east. senator casey has led the way on the new legislation to pressure the leaders to abandon the unlawful nuclear activities and their efforts to destabilize the middle east. in 2009, senator casey offered the iran sanctions enabling act, authorizing u.s. companies to invest their pension funds for many entities doing business with iran's energy sector. and the degree of this year, senator casey author a bipartisan resolution passed by unanimous vote of the senate expressing concern for the iranian freedom of right to
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assembly, speech and due process. at a year earlier, the iranians had taken to the streets to lead peaceful demonstrations against the government or to be repressed by the besieged militiamen. during times of both peace and conflict, center casey has traveled to the region to see the part of our interest and our allies. in july he met a senate delegation and the middle east to discuss the threat posed by iran and to review the developments in the middle east peace process. senator kasey hayes traveled to saudi arabia, kuwait, iraq, israel, the west bank, lebanon, egypt where he met with top officials. he met with u.s. troops in iraq and kuwait, and in iraqi mess with vice president biden and the general ray odierno, commander of the u.s. troops. more recently, senator casey has strong support of israel during the fighting in gaza last month. senator casey has said, quote, the u.s. must continue to support vigilance and the resolution with hamas.
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israel is the right under international law to set up a naval blockade, chief weapons from being sent to hamas, and the responsibility to protect its homeland. hamas is a terrorist organization that denies israel's right to exist. it has 5,000 rockets at israeli citizens and towns. it's a proxy for iran and the main impediment to peace in the region and, quote, then he goes on to say, israel's citizens deserve to live without fear as we move forward we must continue to do all we can to strengthen the unbreakable bond. how was that for clarity? as he heads into the second term next month, have no doubt he will continue to do just that. please welcome me -- join me in welcoming our friend, robert casey. [applause] >> thank you. thanks so much, ken for the introduction. i'm honored to be here for so many reasons. to follow the chairman is always
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an honor, and i'm so grateful for that. but i especially grateful to be here today because i almost wasn't. we were all set to have a meeting and then a vote that would involve the debt ceiling. it just a rose very quickly in the senate, and as you know, not much a rise as quickly. [laughter] so, there was a meeting called for 1:00 in the caucus and there'll be a vote after that about 18 minutes and then it got changed so thank goodness we are here. we probably should still do that at some point but it won't be today. but i want to thank you for this opportunity and i want to thank you ken for his words and friendship and the chairman jim woolsey, your president, clifford may and executive
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director marc coming in today and also the staff responsible for our visit here and so helpful when we reached out to them and i have to speak for my staff and a very specific way damian in the back that is extraordinary work on my behalf, and i think on extention of behalf of the people i represent in really the united states because it is a lot of work to staff a member of the foreign relations committee and to staff someone who's the chairman of the subcommittee in the near east and south and central asian subcommittee. so i'm grateful. i also humbled by the opportunity to speak to this audience. i come here not just in gratitude, but with a full measure of you devotee because i know of the collective wisdom, knowledge and experience in this room, and i'm especially grateful. on days like this i'm not sure
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that i'm worthy to talk to you. i can talk at you so to speak but i am grateful to share some ideas and hopefully to do some follow-up we are a little bit tight on time today so as we are preparing today's remarks, the yellow sections have been deleted so we are happy to know in the interest of time. but i am grateful because this is an especially difficult time in our country because we obviously have a huge economic and fiscal challenges that you are reading about and there is a great degree of worry about every day. but those challenges i think are side by side with a whole host of international and foreign policy and security challenges. and we can't separate the two. when you were talking about the fiscal situation, there is an obvious connection to our national security. so, i am cognizant of the connection, but today of course we will be speaking only about foreign policy, and in particular in a very focused
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round of syria. but i do want to thank those that have made it possible, and as the chairman of the key subcommittee i value the work that you do, each of you do in fdd does in a range of policies, whether it's the security of our troops in afghanistan, as i mentioned syria, which i will focus on. but also the work that you do to strengthen our policy as it relates to the regime in iran. and ken was kind enough. but your team has brought to the forefront carefully thought out and persuasive research and policy positions that have been an outstanding resource for those of us in congress. and i am especially grateful for that kind of help. i know that the theme of this year's forum is the poor dictators and dissidents should the west choose sides, and of quote. quite topical given the defense that has played out most recently whether it is the arab
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spring or the nascent space openings and for places like burma and otherwise. i would argue that the central question media is one of process. that question being whether the u.s. and the west should support the space process such that citizens are able to choose their own leaders. even when the process gives rise to political movement and the leaders that may disagree with of the u.s. or even oppose the western policies and the u.s. policies, i think moreover in the years passed the u.s. diplomats have often had an address to call upon in many countries. usually the doorstep of a dictator. that was the one place that they would go to engage with them. i would argue that relations with countries that have duly elected leadership are built on more stable foundations than the
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substantial debt ultimately brittle tie is the u.s. maintained with for example the mubarak regime in egypt and in yemen. but nowhere in the region is a struggle against dictatorship more vital and acute than in syria. over the past 20 months it's become abundantly clear in power that there is no possibility, none whatsoever, for a space process and syria. for years nasiriyah has been one of the most repressive countries in the world according to the state department's writes reports and analytical studies done by the freedom house. political dissidents were routinely imprisoned or disappeared and journalists were silenced. human rights activists operated underground living in constant fear of the deride. meanwhile, mr. assad professed
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to playing a commitment in the region and he was cast by many as a reformer. but his terrible treatment at his own people should have been a strong indication of what he was really all about. however government treats its people is a true testament to its character. how the government treats its own people as an indication of what will lack of the world stage. we have seen how assad operates and which ties have strengthened over the years. iran has desperately strengthened to bolster the regime in damascus. it's only through the ally in the region. this has meant providing weapons, logistical support and tactical the device to the syrian government forces. iran has also used syria as a conduit for supporting hezbollah as that terrorist organization has substantially increased its arsenal of rockets and missiles
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restocking after the 2006 war with israel. i sought to use my position in the senate as the chairman of the subcommittee to but a bright spotlight on the destructive terrorist activities that hezbollah continues to conduct in the region. after al qaeda, hezbollah has killed more americans than any ever terrorist organization. in recent years, it and its iranian backers have been tied to the terrorist attacks were planned attacks in turkey, cyprus, india, thailand and azerbaijan. the investigation into the dutch airline agent attack in bulgaria that killed five israeli tourists in the bulgarian bus driver that was killed as well appears to have the markings of a strike by hezbollah. last year i chaired a
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formulations hearing on the growing threat posed by hezbollah, and in september i lead a letter of 76 senators to the e.u. foreign policy chief kathryn ashton strongly urging the european union to designate hezbollah as a terrorist organization. the response we got simply was unacceptable in the sense that laid out a series of bureaucratic reasons or hurdles to would have to be surmounted to do that. i don't think that should be acceptable to us ever when it comes to this organization. so in the coming days on a and senator lieberman and senator risch will make it try partisan. we will introduce a resolution with the same message that we sent to catherine ashton. degrading the construction of power of iran and hezbollah is in the national security
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interest of the united states. efforts to support the moderate forces opposing him within syria should be considered now and considered seriously. i recently called for a more robust u.s. response to the crisis in syria. i believe that the political transition to a government that reflects the will of the syrian people was also in the core and the national security interest of the united states and the region. moreover, this change would align with our values of supporting the space process and the basic rights and freedoms that should be enjoyed by all people regardless of religion, ethnicity and gender. over the course of the past 20 months, the al-assad regime has unleashed a barrage of terror across the country with the plane of remaining in power. we are just hearing about in
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last couple of days, the last couple of hours more urgently about weapons of mass destruction and what that could mean. more than 40,000, we know that is a conservative number. more than 40,000 syrians have been killed, and countless have been injured. refugees have surged into neighboring turkey, jordan, lebanon and iraq taxing the limits of those countries capacities and creating a regional crisis. the escalation of violence has reached a point where the fighter jets have been used to kill civilians standing in bread line according to the human rights watch. it's hard to comprehend that happening in any country. but that is what has played out. this regime's shucking capacity for the widespread terror and grow as we see the reports of a chemical weapons have been prepared for use. meanwhile the international institutions have largely remained on the sidelines and
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the reprehensible policies on the russian and chinese governments. the administration was right to initially work for the united nations but unfortunately due to chinese and the chinese intransigence these efforts have served to prolong the syrian people. we need a new course. the ambassador for, i know that you have heard from him already. the ambassador has led the charge in coordinating the humanitarian assistance. let me share a few thoughts on this brave american, the ambassador for. i am glad he had a chance to catch up with you today and speak to you. this personal courage and commitment to seeing a way forward and syria is remarkable and that is an understatement. his visit in july of 2011 stands as a testament to american commitment and concern to serve
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as ambassador and have appreciated his friendship and openness to engaging with congress over the course of this crisis. he is precisely the kind of diplomat we need in these challenging times in the middle east region and we need more robert ford's without question. ambassador ford and his team have led an important effort to support a more cohesive and modern opposition political groups in syria. this hasn't been easy as you know. opposition political organizing is difficult and the best of circumstances. not to mention during a war and after decades of severe repression by the syrian government. despite these considerable challenges, the national coalition of the syrian revolutionary and opposition forces was recently established doha. this group is not perfect nor should we expect it to be. i don't need to tell this
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audience the work of political consensus is hard. especially those of us that work in the united states congress. moving forward and i expect the administration will continue to communicate clear in achievable criteria for the recognition of this group and for the sole legitimate representative of the syrian people. once met, once those criteria are met the u.s. should move quickly to recognize and support for michaud support i should say to this group and continue to repeat the central intelligence of commitment to space principles in human rights for syrians of all religions and ethnic backgrounds. time is growing increasingly short for these elements among the political and armed opposition. as we see reports of increased influence on foreign fighters and jihadists and syria. the space to positively influenced the environment is narrowing and may be closing.
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the establishment of the new opposition group combined with better understanding of the armed population provides a renewed opportunity for a more assertive u.s. policy. let me propose a couple of ideas. number one, first, the u.s. must lead an effort to better coordinate international support for the moderate syrian opposition. several countries over the past 20 months have provided different degrees of military political and humanitarian assistance to syrian opposition groups inside of the country. which has led to a common complaint from those in the opposition. they say that the u.s. and the international community have applied considerable pressure on the syrian opposition to called less and coordinate. yet these countries providing assistance to the opposition are sometimes not coordinated among themselves. and sometimes work at cross purposes. they want us to keep our own advice, which i think is a fair
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statement. a lack of international coordination serves to exacerbate tensions within the opposition outside of the country and to empower the chehab elements who are active there. u.s. leadership among the interested countries would help to better coordinate these efforts and to bolster the position of the modern elements. we must also work closely with syria's neighbors who are greatly suffering from the spillover effects of the crisis to ensure that they are committed to hasten the regime. i'm very concerned about iraq continues to allow the flights to use the air space to transport the military supplies disguised as humanitarian aid to the syrian regime mixed. to inspect all of the flights and to turn back any that are carrying illicit cargo violates international sanctions and directly undermine the u.s. security interests.
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all of the aircraft passing through the air space to ensure that iran is not able to facilitate the brutality and prolong the survival of the regime. as a major recipient of the u.s. assistance to undercut, must not continue to undercut our key interest in the region. second, the u.n. should consider initiating security cooperation to linwood training and intelligence sharing with heavily vetted opposition groups that are committed to the space process and universally accepted human rights and human rights principles. i understand organizations like the syrian support could have developed criteria and secure commitments from commanders on the ground to abide by the internationally accepted human rights norms and conventions relative to the behavior during
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armed conflict. we should make sure that if we take this step we ensure that that happens. third of the u.s. should consider measures that would hamper the ability of the syrian air force to conduct aerial attacks on civilians. the finalize the patriot missile batteries which is an important step in the right direction. while defensive in nature of things that these batteries are an important display of international solidarity with turkey and the syrian people. the administration should also examine and assess other ways in which the syrian air force can be deterred or degraded including the use of surface-to-surface tomahawk missiles to degrade the air force ability to take off. so planes on the ground is what we are talking about here. fourth, as a part of our support for the opposition, we should be working to identify ways to strengthen the moderate elements within the country with direct monetary support.
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the international community provided oil support and assistance to the towns led by democratic forces opposed to mr. molosovich. this helped to bolster the standing of the leaders in the eyes of their constituencies and help them provided the services during the cold war winter it's considerably more dire. so does the need for the emerging democrats to deliver to their constituents. if we can help them and help them on this front in a way that doesn't exacerbate the international dynamics, then we should. fifth and finally, as the securities attrition permits, the u.s. should enhance our diplomatic engagement in syria by sending emissaries to meet with members of the political opposition in the northern part of the country. this important display of solidarity would greatly enhance
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the u.s. standing among the moderate opposition and would include our ability to undermine what will be considerable challenges in a post a solid syria. greater u.s. engagement is essential to ensure this conflict ends with the removal and that iran and hezbollah are significantly weak. all of this is clearly within the national security interest. i do not support the use of the forces on the ground and syria i believe the u.s. can and should take more concrete steps to demonstrate support for the transition. while we cannot predict exactly what a new syrian government will look like, we can encourage a moderate actors to take center stage and emphasize the importance of the process of building institutions, the process of electing leaders and
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the process of bringing together syrians with different backgrounds to pursue a common goal of peace and representative government. this is the goal worthy of supporting and i hope the u.s. will demonstrate our commitment to these core principles in the weeks and months ahead. i know we are short on time and i think you for your attention. god bless you and thank you. [applause] >> senator casey, thank you so much for your remarks. there can't be more timely were urging. just as we go along 850 people have been killed by assad and we face the prospect of chemical weapons being used on the syrian population. thank you so much for your very, very important work. thank you also to your very able
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staff, damien and others and for spending your afternoon with us. we know you are on a tight schedule david will introduce the next panel. thank you. >> i think they're reuters institute is important in the culture. we are a culture of words,
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voices. words are key to our imagination, our capacity to envision. we ourselves are not completely tied to the census of lending. but i think there is no other art form accessible to them that which we work with. there is something in literature that captures the human spirit.
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secretary of state hillary clinton said today that the united states and russia to get syrian president al-assad to talk about the political transition and syria. she spoke yesterday with russia's for a minister and the u.n. peace envoy to the next conversation with u.s. ambassador to syria, robert ford on president assad using chemical weapons. investor four was part of an event held by the foundation for defense of democracy is yesterday. this is about half an hour. >> the good morning. very nice to be here. let me thank andy for that very kind introduction and i would also like to thank john for inviting me here to talk to the foundation for the defense of democracy st. john and i go way back to when we were in iraq together. another tough situation where we
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were trying to help promote space change in the middle east. i am only going to talk for about ten minutes and then i would welcome some questions and a little more of a discussion. so just listening to me drone on. i want to take just one minute and give you my sense of the situation on the ground and syria, which is changing. and those of you that are falling syria day-to-day will admit that. the armed opposition groups, the syrian army has made substantial gains on the ground over the past weeks and in particular in western syria has removed most of the government presents all the way through the provincial capital in the southeastern part of syria that borders iraq. the regime has had to pull out of the kurdish areas in the north and northeast the syrian government fell longer controls the border along the syrian turkish border with the
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exception of one border post on mediterranean they've lost control of most of the border along iraq. and now of course again there is heavy fighting in some of the areas very close into the central damascus itself. it's very clear that the regime's forces are being grounded down and that they're losing. that said, the regime protection units continue to maintain some cohesion and they still have some fight left in that even though they are losing. and succumb i am sorry to say that i expect there will be substantial fighting in the days ahead. at the same time that this is happening, extremist groups in syria have little by little been gaining influence among the armed opposition.
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i want to be very clear here that the majority of the people fighting against bashar speed's regime are not extremists. they are fighting for freedom, and they are people who have pledged to abide by a code of conduct including treatment for civilians. as said, there is an al qaeda and affiliate's operating more and more and there are groups that are cooperating with a different and that is a problem and bible talk about this a little bit more. but what we hope to achieve, we and our international partners with of the friends of syria hope to see a political situation and some extremist groups like this are a problem and obstacle to finding the political solution syria is going to need. i want to just very briefly
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mention this fighting that has been intense over the recent weeks this fighting have also created a real humanitarian crisis, and i think it's very important to know. we estimate now that there are about 1.5 million displaced people, syrians displaced from their homes still inside syria. still 1.5 million have a population of 23 million. a huge number. and in addition, there are roughly 470,000 syrians that have had to leave their homes and leave syria. and they are not principally in the name neighboring states of turkey, lebanon, jordan and iraq. although they have gone away as far as libya to seek refuge. and this is causing a problem both for resources and countries such as jordan, lebanon, iraq, and even turkey to provide the resources to care for these people, and all of these neighboring states are to be praised for their efforts to
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help these refugees. but it also causes them stability coming and you have seen the little skirmishes, for example, on the turkish border. so, real quick, the americans. what are we doing? i've already said that we strongly support, we see the only way out of this syrian crisis is ultimately a political solution. a political solution. we want to be cleared we think, and we have been saying since august of 2011 that bashar assad must go. we want to be very clear about that. today secretary clinton is leading the united nations and the arab league joint special representative, and they will be looking at how to move a political situation forward, but we are very clear. botcharov al-assad -- bashar
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assad doesn't have a role in this political transition. at the same time that we are working on a possible united nations russia amtrak, seeing if there is any possibility there, we don't know if there will be or not, it has been blocked by three vetoes with russia and china. we have been working a great deal with the syrian opposition. and so, you're topic about the dissident dictators i think is quite timely at least for those of us that are working on syrian issues. the syrian opposition started out as a very peaceful movement. it basically started out with syrians demanding what i would say is respect for very basic rights and their dignity. the very first demonstration in syria was in a market.
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it basically started because a policeman build the double murders to didn't understand a contradictory caught in the tragic command from the policemen who didn't coordinate among themselves. they got pulled out of the car and beat up. people fought and gathered, and this was on february 17th, 2011. they said the syrian people will not be humiliated. it's about dignity. fundamentally, it is an issue about dignity. peaceful protests and the government, bashar assad's government responded with terrible force, and we have seen now what's happened, 40,000 dead, and the number is growing. so, when this peaceful protest movement confronted harvick violence, torture, arrests, tens of thousands are arrested, and was under the pressure of the syrian government not to organize, it became very difficult for them inside of
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syria to organize on a national level. and so, these incredibly brave and courageous people but frankly risk death and detention in conditions that we cannot imagine it was hard for them to work on a national levels of the protest movement initially was very much localized on the town and the provincial level. what i think very significant over the last month ended in particular the last month in doha but there is now a national opposition leadership which includes people from all of the provinces, all of the provinces together for the first time a lot of people living in the opposition but have been living outside of the country for years. it's the first time these people on the inside working with people that have been on the outside in one integrated group
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and that is the syrian opposition coalition. we strongly encourage the formation of that group, we push forth among our friends in the syrian opposition. i know some of them thought we were a little too pushy, but we think that they will be able best now to chart a course for for the syrian people in the days and the weeks ahead. we expect to see them next week. secretary clinton will attend a very large international gathering. it's a big conference which will be held in morocco next wednesday. but i want to be clear even before that meeting we strongly support the establishment of the opposition coalition. we look forward to working with it and we already have started working with that. we are working on how to channel
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more humanitarian assistance into syria and how to do it more effectively. the way forward from here we think is for the regime to understand that its days are numbered. the fighting around damascus there were only accelerated and the regime needs to step down and allow a political process to go forward the transition plan is actually very detailed, and it goes through a series of steps to read they've looked at some of the lessons from iraq. it charts the course from the departure to the establishment of a temporary government transition government revision of constitution placing this new constitution to a popular referendum and then finally ultimately national elections
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for the new permanent government. that was announced in cairo last july. that is an opposition plan they wrote and prepared and we strongly support it. it is a vision that we support. it's also very, very close to the framework the secretary of state agreed upon with the other members of the united nations security council as well as turkey and the arab league and what we call the geneva road map. the two plants are almost identical. that is the way forward for a political solution. when that will happen i cannot tell you. i can tell you the regime is losing and that its days are numbered and it is visible to everyone and that this transition needs to go forward and that the opposition steps unify its ranks as well as those working is a very positive step.
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let me stop there. that brings you up-to-date with where we are. >> thank you very much to it i would be remiss if i didn't mention earlier today i saw the gentleman here who is a victim survivor of the 1988 chemical weapons attack by saddam hussein pittard i'm sure we all have on our mind this morning the news that bashar assad is perhaps preparing to lower chemical weapons to it i wonder if you can comment on that before we take our first question. >> you have all seen the press reports and i don't mean to repeat them. what i would say is the concern
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we have about the regime of using chemical weapons isn't brand new even before i arrived in syria in january of 2011, the united states was concerned about the regime having these weapons. we want to be very clear, very clear to the syrian government as the situation deteriorates, they must not think about the playing these things. they must not deploy them. the president has laid out the position very clearly, the secretary of state has laid out our position very clearly. i don't think there is anything i need to add. but the message has to be understood in damascus that the utilization of those weapons in any way crosses an american red line and frankly that of the international community. >> questions?
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>> mr. ambassador, in 2003 in may i was in baghdad, and there were a number of road maps come every jurors had a road map. we were heading into another one of those situations where i don't know if the allowites have developed anybody to take over the government. in other words, the morning after, what happens? >> your question is a very good one. the most important thing right now is for the allowites community and syria to understand that they have a place where their community can live in safety, can live treated
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equally along with all other syrians, not with special privileges but also not special penalties of discrimination. accountability for those that have committed crimes as a separate issue and we in fact have established a training center in france when he fled the part of seat bureau of to train the syrian investigators and how to develop a criminal trials for things like that. we are working with seven other countries in that center but that aside from those allowites that have committed the crime in fact have suffered just as others have suffered and it's not to call allowites, they are like keynes and half of them live in villages in the mountains and suffered terrible economic deprivation like other
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syrians. so i think the allowites community itself is -- how can i put it -- they are changing and we see this -- let me give you some indicators. bashar in the current account they are now disagreements in his hometown about what the best way to prefer. tony wrote a very interesting article about this 82 months ago? what happened to us was unprecedented to the people in his hometown literally come to blows about that. we see other indications. some senior officers have defected at least one has appeared on television and frankly i think more put effective they felt their families would be safe but the regime will kill those family
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members of the defectors to stay behind. if your family is still there and you defect, you have just given death sentences to members of your immediate family, so it is important therefore for the syrian opposition coalition allowites and help them understand that they do have a place in the future syria and where else i said they can live with safety and to enjoy the rights of all other syrians and it's a hard process could freely given the pressures the regime put on of its citizens including allowites. >> thank you, robert, for everything you are doing on this issue in addition to chemical weapons it's been and there is
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completely is the issue of whether or not they would lead the country and be allowed to leave the country and have a place to go to a number of countries would be mentioned and reports in the paper that in fact the russians believe he might be willing to leave, but he can't. he tries to lead and if the regime collapses of course the opposition might kill am i wonder if it is speculation that is there a u.s. position on the issue? call for him to step down and that suggests maybe he could step down and his exile and i wonder if you could talk us through that a bit. >> as i've mentioned we have worked with syrian investigators and started training them on how to develop criminal files.
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we have a very clear position with respect to accountability. i also have to say that ultimately the political solution that we are talking about has to be done between syrians, not americans. ultimately this is a syrian revolution, not an american war so if in the end they decide that it is better not to pursue that is a serious decision. but we do think that the extent of the brutality and the extent of the violence requires that at least some level of accountability when for officials in syria is likely going to be demanded and i see they are nodding vigorously and i think a lot of syrians will demand that. the particular status of any one
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individual i am going to leave that to syria it isn't for me to say. but we have made tools available if they wish to do so. >> i want to thank you for presenting the country with such courage of the clarity and the presentation assad certainly knows that if he falls, when he calls his fate would be worse than others. the of the possibility trying to maintain some kind of rule. what do you think of that scenario? >> there are a lot of analysts
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are not the world who are concerned about this fear and of community that there would be another hurdle on the coleco rwanda would lead them to fight even if they lose damascus and as they put additional pressures on the unity of the syrian state and we certainly do not want to see the syrian state disintegrate. it goes back into this question of how to convince the community that it has a role in the future of syria like others in their doesn't have to be a genocide. i was struck by the editorial or an opinion piece in "the new
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york times" i think at the beginning of last week for the week before about the next genocide being against allowites, and that fear is present among the community members and so what you are talking about is just an extension of that and the way around it is the political solution the longer the violence goes on, the more extremist groups benefit and based on what we have seen of no sort of parent organization, al qaeda and iraqi will not be merciful at all so it is incumbent on us to bolster what in the political opposition which is what we are trying to do. >> thank you, ambassador woo-hoo
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when you say the regime is numbered is that proverbial or do you mean days? and more broad, as you pointed out at the outset, the then studied peacefully but later on we saw international forces get involved and the europeans and the gulf arabs what mechanisms do you foresee for the future of serious of the interest of the syrian people do not get overwhelmed by the interest of these outside forces. the direction of the events on the ground, the direction is very clear when the damascus
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airport isn't far from the city they have to close it because it comes under attack from the armed opposition forces. when the armed opposition forces seized the air base on the outskirts of damascus when the armed opposition groups seize control of the air defense sites inside the outer damascus beltway if i can put it that way, the writing is on the wall. how much longer, i don't want to predict. the second question is very important. first of all, foreign intervention isn't new with the spread of the revolution. iran had a close relationship with the regime even before this
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uprising before this revolution started. the same with the russians to be going forward if the syrian people in particular the opposition, remains united and presents a common, the opportunity for the foreign countries to exploit differences and to work one side against another is diminished and that is why again i mentioned the establishment of this collection in doha is so important because it brings them together in a new way that we haven't seen before. that is why they are to be congratulated. that is why they must be supported. i mentioned about supporting moderate forces. if we can keep these syrian leaders united, i think there will be must be that could chance for the pernicious
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factors hezbollah for example to intervene jury to beckley >> questions here and then one in the fact to be a cutback. >> we seem to draw red lines very sparingly. what do you envision the response to going over the red line might be? >> justifiably so i am not elected. i don't want to presuppose with the president is going to do with the cabinet, but i think what must be understood is reduced of a qualitatively different situation. and frankly if countries in the region also do it that way. and so, it would change or
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copulation and a fundamental way in the syrian crisis in a different way. let me leave it at that. >> thank you for doing this. a question with regards to russia. have you seen russia's position change recently as you described them as a bit of a pernicious actor that there might be essential to the political solution that you are talking about? are they come and have you seen a change in where they might be doing with this? >> maybe i should explain why do why haul their involvement in syria pernicious and watching these videos of towns being bombed and the daughter being
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one of the worst examples of this hospital but was born but by no means the only hospital, many hospitals. the equipment that is being used are russian-made helicopters, russian-made jets. i think for russians have a role in this coming and the need to restrain. these are their own military equipment. going forward, we have maybe one minute back three times we have tried to work with russia and the other members of the u.n. security council and the other members of the security council to develop a resolution that would express the unity of the international community and provide the possibility of applying worldwide pressure against the syrian regime and three times russia and china have vetoed that effort.
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.. i mean, the regime ignores
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repeated calls from the international community to move. and so we firmly are of the opinion that more pressure within the united nations security council from mark faugh we firmly her of the opinion that more pressure within -- >> of events in the middle is continuing a moment with retiring senator joe lieberman of connecticut and republican john kyl of arizona. the talk about the iranian nuclear program televised discussion of elections in muslim countries and changes in their spring countries. and several members of congress talk about their perceptions of negotiations over what is called the fiscal cliff. also, don't forget to explore the history and literary culture of new york capital city of albany this weekend. book tv is on c-span2 and american history to be on c-span three.
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>> coming up at 7:00 c-span will be lot of discussion unskilled immigrants. virginia senator mark warner is sponsoring a bill to allow more highly skilled veterans and to the u.s. >> we have had these this the five explosions of knowledge in madison, but we have not coordinated care. all the services that we have end up having some any cracks that the cracks are as harmful as the diseases that we are treating. we have to step back and ask, you know, are we hurting people overall? and income on a global level where we doing some times? and, of course, now we have to these reports saying 30 percent of everything we do may not be necessary in after. we will be step back, 30 percent of all the medications we prescribe, the tests we order, the procedures. this is something, i think, which is for the first time really being called out as a
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problem. >> dysfunction in the u.s. health care industry. what hospitals will tell you. his latest is unaccountable. saturday night at 10:00 eastern on afterwards on it c-span2. retiring senator joe lieberman of connecticut and republican john kyl of arizona now discussing the iranian nuclear program, a serious civil war in the israeli-palestinian conflict . sharing a home and security committee consider our chairs the terrorism subcommittee. but it's about an hour. >> i mean connecticut. thank you so much. thank you. i'm going to thank you more formally in a few minutes, but i'd like to start up the conversation. this is a wonderful time to pick your brain and talk with you. let me start with you, if i may, senator lieberman. when you came into congress, the
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united states was engaged in the cold war against totalitarian regimes, movements to and ideologies. as you leave the senate the united states is engaged in an asymmetrical work against him i would argue, totalitarian regimes, movements, and ideologies. having made any progress? >> we have made progress. i was about to "clinton. two steps forward and one step back. then that is positive. actually, it strikes me that obviously there was enormous progress when the berlin wall went down, the soviet union collapsed, and we have watched a remarkable expansion of freedom generally throughout. but sadly in russia itself we have not seen a return. not quite as bad as the old
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stalinist days, but pat. i mention this because the senate this morning adopted in acton and 92-4, i think. which is a great statement. okay. back to your -- thank you. and, you know, i said to one of my colleagues, there are days -- he would be shocked by this, i'm sure. recent times, have left the senate wondering whether i really have done anything that would matter during the day. today having voted as part of a large majority, i think we have done something significant. so, yes, this is history. communism and the soviet union was remarkable. yet somehow the respite from conflict. there are lessons to be learned. ultimately both of these work
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ideological conflicts at their heart. sometimes people miss that. i think in the conflict we are in with islamist extremism and terrorism, but it is a theology, but is an ideology, a set of ideals. the other hopeful thing to say is that ultimately what generally happens to history, communism collapses on the weight of its own repression and evil and extremism. and i'm confident that the same will be true of islamist extreme and terrorism, but the other, we have to be clear in making the ideological counter argument, which we did for a long time against the communists, and that was critical to the ultimate victory, which secured. the other thing is we have to remain strong and unrelenting
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and our willingness to use our strength to protect our security and our values against these ideologies which were then and now both quite inhumanely not trust. and it we have to have patients. and that's a real challenge for us in a democracy. you know, the cold war did not end quickly. it took strong leaders to and it this conflict against extremely unconventional enemies will not end quickly either and in our democracy we're going to have to hopefully without suffering anything like the attack of september 11th continued to convince the american people that we have got to stay engaged
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to keep our defense aside and remain on the offense if both ideologically and militarily. >> senator kyle, you will also compare and contrast the cold war to the current conflict. but this also occurs to me. we talk about communism and probably among ourselves we will talk about islamism and she autism and ideology. as you well know, there are many people in the u.s. government and very high positions to will not use those words . pilot extremists by definition has no coherent set of beliefs. it seems to me, and i think it seems to you that if you don't understand and won't tell them to the ideology of those who proclaim themselves to be your enemy you cannot understand them. he cannot understand and you're going to have a hard time defeating them >> exactly so.
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that may complement. everything he said was wise c'mon point. needs to be considered as part of this overall. your last comment reminds me that if the three of us and several others joined together on the second iteration of the committee on present danger which brings us back to your comparison which is that. the cold war and the war against us, islamists, theological, ideological movement, there are many, many parallels. obviously different ideologies, but you start with the proposition that the enemy here in both cases was an ideology. you cannot therefore defeated without engaging the ideology. we cannot engage the ideology unless you understand it and willing to called by its name. you start with a proposition and go all the way back. if you don't know your enemy you're not likely to be him -- beat him, especially in an enemy
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like this which has a lot of very clever components to its way of fighting. and so point number one, you have to know the enemy, be realistic and calling it by its name and then begin to develop the ways of defeating it. senator lieberman is exactly right. the cold war took a long time to win, and i sometimes think we won it to some extent by accident. think of the things that were done or not by accident and that could form a basis for at least an analysis of how you when this. point number one, john made. you have to be strong as a nation. militarily and in whatever other ways and necessary to confront this particular kind of in any. second point is, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent here? what is the methodology for enhancing the islamist movement and where might its weak points
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be and how do you take your vantage? this requires a different kind of thinking about how to approach. and i think we have done that yet. to some extent we have been on defense from day one, the we have on occasions employed offensive techniques and by and large they're pretty effective. intelligence we understand is a critical component of this battle. maybe even more so than last. it was important than. we have had some reorganization of our government. we have certainly had couple of worse. we think of afghanistan right now, and that is the last point of a microcosm. we are going to leave afghanistan. is there anybody here that in five years afghanistan is going to look very much different than it did, say, two weeks before september 11th when i was on the cover -- kaj pass.
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a lot of blood spent. maybe not to very good effect. your not going to win a war that way. fine a point, final, final point is that we could, because we are and impatient people by nature and because the enemy in this case is an extraordinarily patient, i'm not going to say we could lose because of the end of the day we have new twist but to win, but it will be a lot longer struggle if we don't appreciate the fact that the time element here is important because we are a democracy, as joe pointed out and as my colleague, john mccain -- our colleague, john mccain like to point out, the afghanis said you have the watches, but we have the time. that is one illustration of how this is a little different than the cold war, take all these
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elements into account in devise a strategy in the tactics and then decide where that leaves you in terms of military expenditures. a number of things. >> i want to ask one more broad brush question. this conference is entitled to my dictators and dissonance. should we be choosing between? and tweeted as a serious question. a lot of people on the left and right at this point he's seen no value in that. have an impact that is useful. there is a difference, i submit. this is why one you to address. on the one hand exporting democracy and on the other hand supporting democrats who share our values. or simply some of the options or policy, and this is very timely right now.
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we will drill into this and a minute because you have today, one of our senior fellows just back from egypt. i saw him in the hall. the palace surrounded by people who do not want to trade one despot for another. do not want to trade autocracy for three -- theocracy. now the question not only is to help them, do we leave alone, or do we help and perhaps in power and to establish it the credit dictatorship green of the muslim brotherhood which we are told will be a moderate muslim brotherhood. but me ask you. two or three words. yes and no. [laughter] >> well, let me see. as i look behind me and see the guest of the foundation's for democracy. it is -- it is one that i'd like which is obviously a choice between dictatorship, dictators
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and dissonance, we always have to go with the dissidents. that is who we are. we are a nation founded on a set of principles that have never perfectly, but much more often than not and much more than most other nations guided our behavior in the principles. most eloquently and compellingly in the declaration of independence. we have a mission. the same reason that the founders created -- formed a government which is to secure the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. that should always be our guide post. foreign relations. because it is a complicated world and because we are not perfect, we will make compromises on an ideal, but we are always better off internationally when our foreign policy reflects our founding values, which is freedom. and it is not only that we feel
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better about it and is more consistent with our national ideals, but in the long run it works out better. so that is the beginning of a general answer to your question. you know, i'll talk briefly about the arab spring. so the arabs bring has presented me and probably a lot of others -- back to one of the point. this is about the party's beckham political parties in our country. how the -- this value of freedom sometimes gets a bad name. unum. i get motivated, like a lot of people of my generation in public service by president kennedy. you know, we were inspired by the words of his inaugural, not just ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. this is a nation that will be
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prepared to pay any price and bear any burden for the survival and sustenance, really expansion of liberty. >> very kneele. that is exactly the point of order to make. then suddenly i just saw a column somewhere where somebody was talking, we have to get over this neocon nonsense of a free and agenda. well, to me that was the kennedy agenda, the true agenda. an american agenda. >> put you on the spot. if you were at this point telling our ambassador in cairo what to be telling, what you say? >> i would say that we should be telling him, look, a lot of skepticism about you in america because we have read the muslim brotherhood documents historically, and they are not consistent with our values.
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okay. you won the election. so -- and it is very important for us to have good relations between egypt and the united states. you're a great nation, center of the arab world, we are going to judge you by your title of the muslim brotherhood, but by your actions. to be more specific, as grateful as we were two weeks ago that you, mr. president, helped us in to the conflict in gaza, if the next day or two days after you suspend the right of judicial review, were not going to be able to have normal relations with you and probably if i was in the white house i would say, mr. president, no matter what we in the white house wanted to do, those let ticks on capitol hill will force us not to have normal relations with you. >> good to have the little texan capitol hill. no danger that will change.
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>> i see no danger of that with just departure. i will see if joe agrees with this. would you put us in the realism branch. we have to be on the side. we don't have to be stupid about it. i guess that's the way it is. life is full of compromises. marriage is a full of compromises, families, government, and there cannot -- it would be very odd indeed if everything were clear-cut and black-and-white in dealing with situations like all of the complications from the air of spring that set up the tensions between the dissonance and the dictators, as you put it. so we don't have to be cowed by the fact that there are some very difficult questions presented year. sometimes the compromises are not apparent. difficult, so how do you make the decision?
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well, you have to handle them, you have to try to influence the setting of the stage rather than just always reacting to what is presented to you. and you best do that by having some foresight and intelligence. i go back to get intelligence to read and almost by having a coherent philosophy that maybe not day in and day out, maybe not even weekend and week out, but year in and year out you are trying to stay as close on that line as you can. circumstances require. but we will not only have a lot better chance of winning, but be much more credible with everybody else in the world if they know what our north star is where we want to go. sometimes we're going to have to attack. you know, what this is all about. so you have to do that sometimes, but always with the in : mind. and if people understand that there will be a little more forgiving and we will be subject to criticism. but people have to understand
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what your ultimate goal is. and i kid about it, but realistic, kind of a good way to describe it. >> let me start. we should talk about quite a bit this morning. are we on the right track in terms of influencing the situation? can we influence the situation still? >> here is where i am going to punch just a little bit. i don't know really enough about everything to be able to answer that question intelligently. one of my approaches to problem-solving is -- first of all, i don't twitter. i try to think carefully about what i'm going to say before i say it. it frequently comes in handy. you don't have as much to explain later, baton express an opinion unless you really intend tax on the ground. i don't well enough to express an opinion.
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i do think that we might have a somewhat better choices had be had a more coherent policy going in because i don't think it has been very coherent, and as a result some of the choices we have are far less benign or at least potentially productive than they otherwise might have been, so i'm going to put that question just a little bit. >> i have ideas. by the way, after watching for 26 years, the united states congress to my john mccain has some of the best quick instance, all of this as things are correct. but he sounds as if situations involving national security and foreign matters very, very well. and i subscribe generally to the kinds of approaches that he has advocated throughout this conflict, but beyond that. >> to me this is the constant
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case of a dictator verses dissidents. i have been increasingly frustrated, disappointed, angry that the u.s. has not been much more proactive in support of the dissidents in syria. both because they were on this side of freedom when they started out peacefully, not increasingly it became humanitarian. and i don't know that in my 24 years in the senate, this is a case where there is an awful lot of value and strategic interest of our country, together. they usually don't in foreign policy. the obvious strategic interest, the one big one is that, you know, the number one friend of our number one enemy. and his collapse would be
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probably a significant body blow to the regime at the top in tehran as anything we could do. that would, in some ways to increase the leverage over -- when it comes to their nuclear program. maybe even as much as the sanctions to because the fall would affect the top of the regime, including the irgc. so, you know, the other strategic reason is that, i think, that the longer we wait to get involved the more potential vengeance comes up because of all the killing that has gone on. the more the fighters have come in and started out -- and okay. we have gone three times to turkey to deal with the opposition and the syrian army that came out. it started out, really, as a patriotic anti dictator
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movement. and it is still more that than anything else, but it is clear that related people have come into it. so the danger here is that -- a lot of dangers, but one is that they're retreating essentially to create a province with the chemical and biological weapons and the rest of the country goes into civil war. the simi nationalists, the extremists, the kurds, the arabs . and actually expands what i think will be in some ways the most consequential threat to stability in the middle east. the next chapter, and it's not going to be the israeli-palestinian conflict which is significant, but it is going to be the suny shi'ah conflict in the muslim world expressed in
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all the ways. i think we waited too long. i hope that we will immediately -- the demonstration will recognize this that they helped to put together that will give them weapons and that with both of the neighbors of syria and our allies in europe, some of which have now been ahead of us, that we will focus in on this immediate really potentially disastrous threat of chemical and biological weapons. >> you said a moment ago that iran is our most dangerous enemy. if so, how far should we be willing to go to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons? >> i just echo what everybody said. it's unacceptable for us to allow -- to become a nuclear state. containment is not an acceptable alternative. i think that is absolutely right. it changes the balance of power
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in the middle east. some of our allies to begin to accommodate. and it's a threat to most of the rest of the world. the sanctions, unprecedented so i think we have to the make sure that our threat of military actions, if they don't take down their nuclear equipment is credible. i'm still not sure it is. they have to believe that the u.s. will use our immense power to the civil the program if they don't.
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>> make one comment directly pertaining to the overall theme here. starting a long time ago, years ago our sanctions regime should not only have been stronger, but it should have been oriented in a study different direction. we should have been saying to the people in very clear and firm wace, our quarrel is not with the iranian regime creating nuclear weapons alone. it is the iranian regime acting in all ways that it does, including two recognize the fact that the average marine on the street is probably pretty proud of the capability of generating nuclear weapons, then it capability. probably nationalistic. so that if the sanctions really
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are going to work impacting the will of the people and therefore the action of the people, people have to believe, we are not doing it in our own self-interest, but we are also doing in a primarily doing it for their self-interest to give them the ability to reassert control over there future, over their country, over their government. they have a stake in it. the fact that they are impacted so negatively and in personal ways is much more terrible. and i guess this is a microcosm of the point i make a larger way we should be -- there should be a whole lot more. and all of the other voices of the american ideal telling people what we are for, why we are for it, why we share their aspirations, and whatever actions are taken are consistent with those.
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>> it's a hugely important point. many people understand the islamist greuel, the iranians, the know it doesn't work. senator lieberman said a moment ago that our threat, military threat to the iranian regime must be credible. is it credible to you? can you imagine this president, president obama using military force to stop ? >> you have to get into some definitions. the united states attack. you have an israeli attack. you have the combination attack. you have an israeli attack backed by elements of u.s. force a footnote to after the fact backed by some elements of u.s. force. all kinds of federation serve. i think the iranians are probably nervous, but not nervous enough, obviously. so they rather apparent answer
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probably not credible enough. does that is ruled by hamas which has used the territories as a basis for terrorism, missile losses. the west bank is more or less ruled by the plo. do the israelis have anyone to negotiate a peace process with at this point? if they did negotiate -- >> suppose they came to negotiate a peace process after years of refusing to do so, could he signed a paper that would be an all meaningful? would he be able to bring an end? is there really any way to believe that israel could have a separate peace in the midst of a global conflict or have peace before? >> it's possible, but it is very
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hard at this point to imagine it would not come easily for all the questions, all the reasons that your questions embody, in the first place, right now is rail faces a palestinian people that are divided between two governments. making peace with one would not give them the security or the confidence to take the risks that they will have to take as part of the peace process. i was encouraged by one of the stories. in the news a couple of days ago. that -- which i was wondering about happening. the people in gaza are beginning to look because of how much they suffered in the last conflict because a moss was doing something that was not for the
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people of gaza. there were firing rockets into israel because iran was asking them to do that. hopefully at some point that will lead to more on popularity. so what i'm saying is that the ideal would be that there really were elections both in the west bank and in gaza. and it produced a government that had some credibility in all parts of the palestinian community, especially with -- with the israelis. to imagine a settlement really takes an optimist beyond my capacity for optimism, and i am an optimistic person. so the question is whether they, you know, could negotiate a tentative agreement on some of the issues.
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this is a case where people in israel really yearn for peace. ♪ solution. yet, as you know, and i have seen this in recent polling, most of them have just given up on it for the foreseeable future because they don't see a partner who is prepared to negotiate. i don't blame them. >> i don't think they are prepared to negotiate, but let's suppose for the sake of argument that he is and doesn't let's suppose on friday he sits down with netanyahu and shakes hands and comes to a deal by friday dinner. will he survive through sunday breakfast? >> under circumstances, probably his days would be numbered. and not talking about his life, but his power. joe and lasted exactly correct the. totally divided. no leaders capable of making a deal. part of it is of their own
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making. you cannot start with the education of the kids, teaching them to aid israel and everything it stands for and hope to have support from the people when you make a deal like that. so there are a lot of conditions . it can't happen overnight. so does the central part of the problem is they created their own problem for acceptance of any kind of reasonable deal. >> expressed some pessimism or realism about what is likely to happen in afghanistan after the departure of substantial numbers of u.s. troops. there will be back, a senseless, to where it was before september 11th. what happens in pakistan after that? democratic, emphasis on semi. >> this just adds to the conundrum of the entire area and how we deal with it. i go back to where i started. if you have some first
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principles that you try to apply in any controversy and recognize that as you apply them there will be circumstances for some nuance and potential compromise has required, then you approached all of these problems the way. you have very good intelligence. you can understand what is going on with in the pakistan in society and government. you have a strong military, you have the ability to control events more than be controlled by them. if he struck -- if you have strong allies have the ability to sway opinion. just by way of example. so on and so on and so on, which goes back, again, to joe's first point and mine. if you looked at all of these problems as they exist today, you can easily become very pessimistic about our ability to deal with them, and maybe make
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the wrong kind of conclusions are compromises based on that. if you go back to the question, how would we go about winning a war against this islamist ideology? political islam is the moniker that some wise people, i think, have given to it. i think that is the best description. you go back to -- okay -- how did we approach the cold war? when did change? why did it change? what did we need to make this change is? let's apply lessons learned to. also an ideological conflict. the strengths, weaknesses, what assets are you going to need? what kind of vulnerabilities can be taken advantage of? and you work all that out. you can begin to see some opportunities. but at a minimum you know that the involved trying to have strong allies to and alliances, trying to be strong militarily, trying to be credible and consistent philosophically,
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being clear right about the nature of the conflict, and being -- here is something we forgot. how can you win a war without ever talking about it to the people that you need to mac you know? where is churchill today? i love george bush, but one of the -- in fact, the only big argument i think i ever had with him is why don't you explain your decisions? is good basis for them. part of leading is bringing people on which you. why is what you did the right thing to do? wide we have to stay the course? his explanation, like clinton's. barack obama, he does not want to explain anything because he does not even believe in the goals with all due respect. and as a result he is not about to talk about it. you want to talk about other things. no wonder that the american people are despondent over this and have no will to fight it. all they see is the downside,
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guys coming back with an arm blown off. if the comeback. and a lot of cost without any explanation whatsoever about why this is important. without the president's standing appear leading the people as to why we have to pull together and support this and sacrifice. henry kissinger said something along. part of the reason is that their leaders have lost the capacity to get there people to follow them in any sacrifice. there is nothing to before, so why would you ever want to sacrifice? people have to have a reason to be for something. can be nationalistic. that is not really all that good, but part of winning this is to be able to talk about it with principles in mind that motivate the american people to be supportive of good policies. [applause]
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>> pakistan strikes me as one of our most important allies, but our least reliable ally. you're welcome to pick up on this because i think it is an important one. we don't believe in the value of freedom, and a lot of our campuses, we're actually negotiating with the organization of islamic operations now named to prohibit internationally the decimation of is on which would be, to me, a blatant violation of the first amendment of the constitution. we don't really believe in free speech, the value of freedom. values are equally good. what is it? >> yes. i think it was stated very eloquently. the whole question of relativism , and the reluctance of some people to judge, but there are rights and wrongs. better and worse. and if you believe that you have to say it. it is the responsibility of leaders in a democracy, or else
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the mob we will influence foreign policy to a greater degree than any of us would wanted to. so i think he stated very, very well. >> one quick example. i told you i was on the pass just before september 11th. we met with a sharp fall on that trip. one of the things the public us to do is to restore military contacts. he said that my generals are very loyal to me. they all were educated at sandhurst for west point dealing with americans from day one in their military careers. he said the colonels and below our review board. because you cut off all contact with us because of the pressler because -- and i guess that was because the nuclear weapon. i'm not that old, so i adelle remember all these things. but there is an example. where we wanted -- we had a goal, a principal, policy.
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if they didn't we were going to punish them. and talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. that was point. you have now created a problem for yourselves and for me. you need to go back. and by the way, within about two weeks we have begun the process of restoring military to military contacts with pakistan, which is a very good thing, but it shows you how things are not perfect in this situation. we have to be careful about the action and reaction and think about the long term. sgt representative. >> not at all. >> i will just say briefly, our relations with pakistan are probably the most complicated and consequential of -- it's hard to think of another country that is so complicated and consequential. obviously there are nuclear power. very strategically important part of the world. and, you know, they have led the way with being on both sides or different parts of even their government being on both sides. i can tell you that in many ways
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they have given us very substantial counter-terrorism assistance. and yet on the other hand we know the breadth of their intelligence community supporting terrorist groups. i cannot think of any other nation quit like that. we come to crises and now we're in a better place. right now we seem to be in a cooperative column time. i have always felt, about afghanistan, how we end this is important. and that is why i think it is so important that we are negotiating elantra -- longer term strategic relationship and we successfully concluded that we do better than we did. i think it will be a lot better shape if we had to in our 15,000 american troops there, trainers, not leaving the ground opened totally to iran to come in and put more pressure on the iraqi
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government and the iraqi government really wants. and so high hope that the drawdown from afghanistan is not precipitous of our troops because it is clearly not what our military wants. secondly, that we leave some group -- some deployment of our troops there and one of the most important reasons to do that is the message it sends to pakistan . because the conventional wisdom, you say it so much you wonder whether it is true. of course some elements in their intelligence service, terrorist groups because they are positioning themselves for the day which they know will come when we, again, leave. and leave afghanistan, leave the region, and they see iran coming in more to afghanistan, but really india.
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we have to convince them that not by words, but by our decisions that we are going to stay. >> that is why the insurance policy from us, not the other guys. >> you got it. and beyond pakistan to india on afghanistan this whole area, look around the neighborhood, iran, this is a very strategic place, a part of the world. rolling economic importance. so not just for afghanistan, but really for ourselves it would be good to have -- i don't use the word base anymore. it would be good to have some joint operating facilities in afghanistan. >> i'm going to ask another question. if you want to ask a question signal me and i will try to come to you. add to once -- certain things i want to make sure i get on the table. we have reset our relations with russia think it is fair to say. i'm not sure russia's reset its
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relations with us. is that also fair to say? >> yes. [laughter] >> pass it on. >> a possibility. a possibility. so this thing about john kyl and i is that after the election when we're going to be out of office we are going to be more inflexible. [laughter] >> some might wonder if that could be. in my case, only in my case. you know, this is a great frustration obviously. you can understand president obama. a different point of view than many of us hoping that through his intelligence, personality, and different points of view that maybe the russians would be receptive to a new approach which is sort of the entire bush approach.
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you can understand why he might think he could succeed at that. and therefore try this out. so i an not criticizing him for trying. you can question whether he should reasonably have come to that conclusion, but nonetheless he tried it. i hope he can appreciate that has failed and is not likely to succeed because of a variety of reasons in the you cannot keep going down the path chasing after somebody. without doing some damage to yourself. piquancy places where that has occurred. just to cite one example, the very difficult situation. just to mention one example. >> missile defense. and don't have many people know that. missile defense is nowhere near where it should be to protect the homeland and nuclear modernization.
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>> well, nuclear modernization may be going backwards, which is not good. in terms of the homeland, remember, there are two elements of missile defense protection. homeland, which people generally associate with the gdi system, the ground-based interceptors. the administration's cut way back in the numbers of those for deployment and on the development of the new generation. about 20 years old. we would like to put the new generation, to be much more robust. cut the funding for that. the other part, can we both, depending how it is deployed, american defense system and protect the regional interest such as europe, for example. for example, a country like iran . a great announcement of the administration to my would say, to provide the rationale for
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cutting way back on the gi was we are going to have something even better. of forestage developed aegis system. now and of course everybody said to weigh a minute. the fourth stage of that could be very effective including potentially against an inherent russian missile launched by mistake or, perhaps, by a rogue commander. in any event, the russians are now saying under no circumstances should you develop that. not only do they object to in the seventh system that might potentially be effective against them, let alone other countries, they also have been putting enough pressure. i wonder if the demonstration will move forward with what they characterized as a substitute for gdi. the fourth phase of aegis. >> as the question right there.
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>> ken olsen, westport, connecticut. my favorite senator. >> that's why colony. >> i think a couple of lessons have been learned of the last ten years, and maybe even the last five years, and not the least of which is elections dummy democracy. i think i wondered if there are people in this world that just don't want democracy. and is that necessarily a bad thing in particular parts of the world? and how we in the u.s. respond to that if that -- if what i posture as possible. >> well, it's great to see. so bitterly. >> guest: if from what i have observed, people do want democracy. they may settle land with dictatorship for a while, but ultimately there is a natural and human yearning for freedom and an opportunity, and economic agenda the. john mccain to egypt and tunisia
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within a month after the arab spring uprisings. i was quite fascinated. we talked to the people that led both of those revolutions. and one. that struck me was that they were motivated as much by a feeling of economic outrage as they work by their desire for freedom. in other words, they had a feeling that the countries were -- the leaders at the top were consuming most of the wealth of the country. somebody in the program while ago. the middle-class educated and, on the internet, knowing all the opportunities out in the world and could not find a job. i don't know. it say that maybe people develop
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a certain comfort for a while. ultimately it does not work. we know that from our own history and, again, from our founding ideals. so we are always at peril when we accommodate ourselves to dictatorships. clearly we have, over our history, and we continue to in some cases, but it is not a good bet in the long run. >> we could go on for a very long time, and i would like to, but we don't have the time and there is something else i want to do well they are here. that is, to present an award. senators, again, i wanted thank you both very much for honoring is with your presence and talking so candidly and interestingly with us. i do now have the privilege representing each of you with an award in for one of our country's finest diplomats. ambassador jeane j. kirkpatrick was instrumental in establishing the foundation for defensive democracies in the wake of the
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september 11th 2001 attacks. much of his work today is based on the deep commitment to advancing democratic values and institutions. kirkpatrick spent her life studying totalitarianism and fighting totalitarianism. she understood early on also that the collapse of the soviet union would not mark the end of the struggle between freedom and tyranny. instead, the totalitarian threat and challenged would take new forms and, indeed, it has, as we have discussed today. ambassador kirkpatrick story, if you don't know why will tell you quickly. it is quintessentially american. she was born in rural oklahoma. she was raised by a dollar a day roughneck during the great depression. she became, by brains and hard work, what she called an action intellectual which i think is a great model for the kind of work that we try to do with the help of people like senator lieberman and gile. and she became a maker of
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history, not just a student of history. ambassador kirkpatrick was the first woman appointed to serve as the permanent representative of the united states and the united nations in addition was one of the great you in embassadors serving as a member of reagan's cabinet. for this and for her career and service, ambassador kirkpatrick was awarded the presidential medal of freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. and we are honored to have known jeane kirkpatrick, to have worked with her, learn from merck, and we continue to honor her legacy in example. to that end, it is particularly gratifying for me to present the first award named in her memory and your honor, the senator lieberman and gile. senator lieberman, let's give a round of applause. [applause] and also just briefly, i have had the privilege of knowing you since you were first elected to the u.s. senate. about a quarter of a century
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ago. i was a reporter for the new york times back in, and had the great privilege of covering in particular senator lieberman, senator daniel patrick moynihan and senator bill bradley. i have to tell you, i have a lot of fun. i've -- that was a great job to have. and over the years you have consistently expanded freedoms reached at home and abroad. my staff and i were honored in the aftermath of the attacks, he became a distinguished adviser to this organization and a member of our council and a great credit to you also is the talented and dedicated staff that you have assembled. it is a tree and the privilege of we get to work with them. i need to say that. senator kyl, working with you and your staff also immensely talented people. smart, dedicated, a range of issues, it has been an honor but it is also an education. i have learned so much from you. i know. i know you mean. you have been singularly committed to policies that
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promote peace through strength. you have steadfastly opposed any efforts to compromise the united states national defence. your expertise on a range of issues is unmatched in the u.s. senate and will be greatly missed. and you have fought a good fight that must continue to protect the american homeland, to protect america's allies. you have earned a reputation for strategic thinking on matters of great complexity. senators, in light of your many accomplishments in defense of national security and defense of freedom, i am proud to present you, the foundation for defensive democracies inaugural ambassador jeane j. kirkpatrick award sitting right next to you. a little heavy, but you as a strong. pick it up. please join me in congratulating the senators. [applause] >> you are both well and say a couple of words here.
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>> cliff. thank you very much. when i think about it, his movement from the new york times is a little like my movement from the democratic party to being independent. [laughter] i am really honored by this. i am honored because of my great admiration for this unique organization here in washington and throughout the country. i like the phrase of action intellectual. he produced some really tough work that informs policy, and you have also been very effective advocates. secondly, i am really honored to be receiving this award in the name of jean kirkpatrick. another independent democrat. so independent she became a republican. i don't know. she was an inspiration to watch at the u.n., and a real honor to accept this award which my colleague and your friend, john
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kyl, who is the model of what a public servant should be. he works very hard. he was gifted with some prices start out with, but he really uses them. and he is thoughtful and in this extremely almost reflexively the combative political climate he happens to be a gentleman. and that matters. it has been my honor really to work with him over many issues of common interest of the years. i look forward to continuing it. one of our senate colleagues calls it the afterlife. but for today and will just say that i am therefore tripoli honored to receive this award from the fdd in the name of jean kirkpatrick with john kyl. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. >> jill put it right. it is a triple honor, first of
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all, to be honored by ftd with the great lead of cliff may. [applause] jeanne kirkpatrick award with my colleague joe lieberman. it does not get much better than that. i am deeply honored. and, as joe said, i think we both see this as the end of the first half of the ball game. pretty soon we will start the second half. you ain't seen nothing yet. [applause] >> i just want to get one picture here. >> i like that codename metaphor. >> make sure we get it. >> you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs weekdays featuring live coverage of the senate. once the public policy events
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and every we can't believe this nonfiction authors and books on book tv. ..
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i think the writers institute is important within the culture. we are a culture of words, of voices. words are the key to our imagination, our capacity to envision things. we, ourselves are not yet completely tied to the print on the page. but i think that there is no other art form so readily accessible but there is
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something in literature that captures the human spirit. egyptian president morsi announced a productive dialogue with the opposition beginning saturday. he also said the referendum on the disputed constitutional will go ahead as scheduled on december 15th and he refused to rescind his decree as giving him near absolute powers. a discussion now on the elections in the muslim countries and leadership changes in the arab spring countries. former cia specialist is joined by the washington journal's editorial page devotee and
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others, the foundation for the offensive democracy hosts this event. it's just over an hour. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. thank you for that introduction and thank you, all of you for coming out early this morning for what i think will be very lively debate. we are going to be asking the question of democracy is the triumph in the middle east islamic victory is unavoidable and essentials. this is the motion that we will be debating in the intelligence square format for the requests
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from ruel and brian. they have had a practice round.
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occurred on power. the revolution in egypt has taken many turns. the muslim brotherhood has come to power through the ballot box, but that has been marred of late thanks to mohamed morsi, the president of egypt earning him the moniker on atwitter of morsilini or mubarak with a beard, and now as we look around, we are not sure where this revolution is going and nor are we aware were the of the revolutions are going around the region. syria is teetering, georgia is burning, and the future is yet to be written. the question now is in all these countries will there be
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elections, will the islamists win? will it be one man, one vote or one-man, one-vote, one time. so with that we are going to debate the motion of democracy is the triumph in the middle east, it's up about box and is unavoidable and essential. we will have five minutes of opening remarks from each of our panelists today. we will start with ruel again to the good and go to brian and have q&a for myself as well as the audience and our panelists will be allowed to minutes at the end to restate their case and he essentially persuade you to believe what they believe. we will start now with ruel. ruel, you may begin. >> this is that such an angle. ruel, i'm confident you will find a way to drink.
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[laughter] i want to thank everybody for coming, and particularly i want to thank michael panelists here. rob satlof and i have been debating this issue for almost a decade. certainly with brett i can say i don't think i've ever disagreed with brett accept on this issue, and i particularly have to thank my colleague, brian katulis at the center for american progress. it shows the left and right can come together on certain issues and it's particularly brave to be here because on occasion i have looked at the web site and i sometimes find they are depicted as the son of satan. so i'm not sure what that makes brian. but i will just say -- let's be frank. what we are talking about is do you prefer dictatorship to democracy because that is what the resolution really is.
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because we know that if you actually have a free vote, right now the islamists are always going to do well and they are probably going to triumph. that may not be the case down the road. but right now if you have a free vote they will try. certainly in my mind that makes the vote unavoidable in the essential because if you believe you are going to have to go down that path, some have a non-dictatorial path then you are going to have to open up the road and have to open the option in the triumph. now, what the opposing side is really saying i think is, you know, what we really wanted to have come and it may be too late but they still want it is they want to have come always. you are going to have the model of the adventure and that you are going to have enlightened despotism. that is the authoritarianism that grew out of the fascist
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movement in turkey and the ottoman empire that they were going to enlightened and you were going to create a new liberalism that eventually would become space and the middle east. and that he would take the sharia and the faithful here the rule of law and more or less cast them off and replace them with legal codes and at the end of this long process, muslims would be basically us. one, let's look at turkey. that hasn't exactly turned out so well. what happened is that as soon as the turkish military allowed a free vote, islamic history came roaring back. you don't get to cut off 600 years of islamic history, and that the justice and a different
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party has come back rather powerfully, and they have one at the ballot box. now repeatedly with a free vote. in the future that may not be the case. but we know that if democracy is to have a chance in turkey, the justice and the development party is going to be their or their successors will be there. and we know that that's the most liberal model. in the arab world, where we hope it would come about that you have a dictatorship, you have the kings that at the end of that process you would still also have been little slice. what happened in the arab world is that a dictatorship reduced societies where fundamentalism has become the number one dominant intellectual force what happened is they produced societies that gave al qaeda.
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that is what happens down the dictatorial path. now, it is absolutely certain that we do not know where the islamism, the fundamentalism is going to head in the middle east but we should have the decency to actually reflect on our own history, and to realize that we shouldn't say to them what westerners themselves didn't live up to. you can't expect them to do better than we were. and if you think about how long it took for us to get where we are today, then we should have, we must have a bit more patients for them. >> thank you, reuel. now, rob satlof. >> thank you to fdd. it's a pleasure to be here to join my panelists, bret against
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these courageous opponents of ours. after jim wolsey's opening comments that essentially put their side of the argument on the side of hitler, stalin and hammami, that they are even sitting appears remarkably courageous. [laughter] the resolution -- of democracy is to triumph in the middle east, islamist victories at the ballot box are unavoidable and essential. i and bret oppose both of these. islamist victory is neither inevitable nor welcome as the resolution suggests. first inevitable. just look at elections throughout the region, islamists rarely get less than a third of the vote. they don't win not islamists lose. they tend to divide among themselves. and it's not that islamists get more than 50%. they don't.
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peace heppe they get less than 50%, the islamists get less. the divisions among them on islamists are what matters. look at egypt. five elections in the last two years. parliamentary, referendum, parliament will. since the fall of mubarak the non-islamists brought increasingly more votes in every single election until the presidential election with a candidate so tara by the fact that he was mubarak's alter ego. they still got 48.5% of the vote. imagine if they actually had a real independent candidate. they would have won. the numbers support the case that the islamist victories are not inevitable as the resolution, unavoidable was the
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resolution suggests second the the more pernicious part of the argument that they are essential for the idea that is in fact good, positive, beneficial for these guys to win. some like reuel say that in order to fight al qaeda, we need to help the islamists, that in fact they would absorb the tendencies and to all support for the true violent radicals. this in my view is a fundamental misreading of the smallest project. islamism is and ideologies, and in neology we should respect with seriousness and respect. i define it as the pursuit of political power with the game of a solution regimes based on sharia law. it is by its very nature and high west, anti-democratic,
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antiliberal and antipeace. its interests are an amicable two hours. this is islamism. it is the opposite of democracy. democracy is people are the source of legitimacy. periodic elections to choose one's representatives, the idea that the political minority can become the minority respect to certain rights and protection for the rights of religious and ethnic minorities and goes beyond tolerance and respect for the judiciary that is dependent. today's debate is very simple. we are not asking if they can be good muslims and democrats. the answer to that is yes. but can islamists be democrats? is it essential that they win, and advocates of the islamism while maintaining the ability to that ideologies leave their countries to democracy? the answer is an obvious know. my answer, bret's answer are in
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fact. their answers are in hope and assertion. we have experiences. iran, sudan, lebanon, turkey, and none of these countries have all the attributes of democracy occurred when islamists were in power. no rotations in power in any of them. they are recognized as some of them and no free and open elections have occurred and some people are not even recognized as the source of authority. are they necessarily terrorists? absolutely not. but, will it ever surrender power if it loses elections? we simply don't know and if we cannot be confident about that fundamental fact, how can we be confident that their election is essential for democracy? it hasn't happened. we have no idea whether the first set of elections in egypt in 7,000 years is in fact the
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last set of elections. let me quote one final citation enclosing. from the egyptian muslim brotherhood website before they realized that every one is reading it and instead learned the art, quote, if democracy means people decide who needs them, then we accept it. if it means people can change the law and follow what they wish to follow, then it is not acceptable. that is the heart of the story, and it is not the path to democracy. [applause] it's getting a little feisty here. let's bring up brian katulis. >> it's great to be here and i love the spirit of this. i'm probably going to bring it back a notch and i just want to stress three points in the debate and i think a big part of
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it is the definitional aspect of what is islamism, what are we talking about, who is winning how much, pay attention to those sorts of details because i just want to make three points, two of them to the motion and one more about policy the u.s. policy and what we can do and i think the question of islam and democracy which is not what we are debating here but it's the persistent sort of charm of an irrelevant question. i think we see the experience demonstrated around the world and rob mentioned this as well that you have many countries including the largest, indonesia, in which the muslims participate in the democracy and you have the political parties within that system, so i think when we have discussions especially these days given the turmoil in the middle east we are very focused on the 20% of the muslim world and six and ten of the muslims live in the pacific region and we need to keep their experiences in mind
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and think about the death of their experiences, but the main point which i think we all agree on is there is nothing and it is anti-democratic about islam in terms of political culture and needing more than christianity or judea's some so we agree on that point. second, and this is where we disagree. given the middle east which i think we are going to focus on today, the crushing social democratic economic political pressures in the societies are facing a change is coming and i've lived in this part of the world for five years back in 1990 and i go back regularly and support the notion as it is crafted in part because i think it is like debating how gravity. you see the early results in some, not most of all if you look at libya of the early elections. to me it seems like an unnecessary first stage of the debate which we are seeing unfolding in egypt and it is quite complicated and yes the
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political forces some of them but not all of them will try to set the table and try to limit the public debate and they will try to impose a model that closes off pluralism. i don't see this in egypt today as a realistic possibility as we see here today. this clash is spilling over into the streets but it's also largely been in politics and in the judiciary so i think there is a desire for pluralism and that political islamist forces i think quite naturally in this early stage will be part of that. whether they will win the majority or not but the main point is i think it is necessary and the question of avoiding it, i don't know. the first point that i would want to stress in the debate is i do believe that the political forces will be forced to change and adopt both their ideology and policy, and this is perhaps a leap of faith, but i think it is my belief in the space systems and freedom in a sense
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that open debate and pluralism will require the islamists when exposed to the public as opposed to the dark corners to pay the price of heavy price of government and we will see this in egypt. we see it already in terms of creating jobs and other things. much in the same way i think in the next couple of weeks in this town we will see some of ideologues see their ideology tested. >> that's the main point is the political forces wherever their ideology is grounded and as long as the system remains open that's what we should talk about is how to do that as long as it remains pluralistic i think we will be forced and we've seen this in indonesia and this is the largest muslim country in the world in 2002 they got about 41% of the vote not a majority but they declined over the last couple of years to about 29%. we need to keep these examples in focus when we talk about what's coming ahead in the middle east because i believe
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that we are in the early stages of transformation in the middle east coming and we will talk about that complex composition for power. a final point and wasn't towards the debate but i think that we are certainly going to talk about it later today. the issue of u.s. policy coming and it's my view that two years into a, the transition in the middle east political with an arab awakening. i think it is still too early to characterize it and i worried a bit only seen about four countries see the leadership change and to others. it's very early, but the u.s. at this stage, and i hope this is the form later today talks about how we actually get out and become more nimble both in terms of how we deal with political islam and all other factors. we need to figure out how to most judiciously in gage and offer support to i think a key factor which we will talk about here. as robb pointed out if you look at the most recent election in the results and egypt there is a
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desire and a hunger for diversity that includes the political forces but also on islamists, and i would argue today that our government and also our non-governmental organization and some of the people in the room right now we are not well placed. we don't have the capacity to deal with this and we can talk about this, but this is where we have the strongest military in the world. we have unrivaled intelligence capabilities. we sometimes screw that up as the case of benghazi demonstrates the biggest policy question which i hope we debate is how we become more nimble and understand the political trends. thanks. [applause] thank you very much. bret coming you are up. first of all entry honored to be here and particularly honored to be on the panel introduced by
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jim i have the greatest admiration for and to be with this mostly distinguished panel. [laughter] the exception of course is reuel. the austrian physicist used to put down his worst students by saying you're not even wrong. [laughter] that's why i am inclined to take the comments. you know, if i say to my son what is five plus seven and he says 11, that's wrong. if he says banana then he's not even wrong. what you have heard from reuel
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especially is a banana. what would he has just essentially done in a very slippery and disingenuous way is to say that the choice that we face is between secular dictatorship in the strike or various others and democracy we have to accept this democracy because even if it is an islamist democracy if you cast your mind back to january of 2011 when this whole business began for me 2010 with to tunisia coming you could have an argument which would have turned out to be wrong based on the following things. first of all, that the people who were filling the square were these marvelous characters like
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the execs that were on their blackberrys and what ever and they were socially mid-court stand progressives and if you were busy reading papers that were not in "the wall street journal," you had to convince saying they are late to this party. this whole process is being driven by young progressives who want a more moderate progressive democratic future in the sense of democracy is really say liberal democracy. i didn't see it that way but love and behold, just like the bolsheviks overtook coming you begin to see the muslim brotherhood coming. then the brother had offered this promise that wasn't going to pass the presidential election. you remember this promise that said we will not contest the presidential election well you already knew that things were
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going in a very bad way when as soon as they saw the opportunity, they broke the promise. then we had the election and by the way, very politely i disagreed with rob satlof for whom i have respect in that somewhat underestimates or dramatically underestimates the strength of the islamist political parties throughout the entire middle east. if the resolution is that we are going to go through this process victory of the parties is inevitable it is inevitable. so then we move along and people say mohamed morsi is a nonentity of the character. nobody takes it seriously. by the mechem holding the reins of power he's the guy in charge
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of what's going on. and then we are still ostensibly wandering our way towards this democratic future from our friends in the brotherhood, and you have to just love it. life gives you a few gifts like we saw in the 21st and 22nd of november. you had this incredible story in "the new york times" about how barack obama had astonished this confidence and trust and mohamed morsi has the mind of an engineer and of course the next day he assumes power by declaring the timing, so the point is this is the way the muslim brotherhood operates and anyone that understands what it is about all i will clean up in just one second. but they should have seen this coming a long, long time ago.
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the conundrum is this. this is the essence of the problem. if you want to have a space process in the middle east, that is to say one that represents most of the people coming to have to have the islamist party participate in that process. if you want to have a space outcome in the middle east, you have to prevent the parties from participating in the process because the first thing they are going to do is destroy the democracy. the conclusion is we are not going to have a space future in the middle east and we need to start thinking about some alternatives. thank you. [applause] >> now let's flesh this out a little bit. i'm not going to ask speed to do any simple math because we know the answer would be free -- fruit. [laughter] first, you mentioned that there is nothing anti-democratic.
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i would like to hear a little bit from you, and i know we probably need to make some distinctions between the as long as some but this is important. >> that is the first distinction lives trying to make is the religion itself essentially coming in you can see around the world you look at the basic facts and the number of muslims in the world and the fact that sometimes they organize politically and participate in a space system there is nothing in terms of the islamic democracy being incompatible, and i know some academics still debate this but it's kind of a quaint debate. we have enough experience out there, and my own experience also, living and working in the middle east in the dark ages when democracy before this bush administration i think put it high year on the agenda but back in the 1990's, it was that there are -- there is the sort of generational -- a generation that is coming right now which is what you're seeing right now that went to the voice in their local system, and i know you won't want me to go on for long
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but i was in iraq after the invasion on the too political systems try to understand what they wanted and they didn't know what they wanted in their government. but islamism was at the forefront and the election results while they were there at that time you had the political party become quite dominant in that political system even to this day that is the point and i know you have the investor talk about this but in gauging the different forces and shaping them i think is going to be the next stage. they will be part of the system they cannot read and i am not saying that iraq is in all but there's a potential the especially for this new generation that doesn't want this interpretation today how the roadworks in the politics. >> actually disagree with my partner here just a bit. in 1807 when the british decided
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that the slave trade was a bad idea and they went to inform them and by the way they had the trade going in the ottoman empire dwarfed the ottomans responded as any sensible muslim would have, they responded as any sensible american southerner would have done and they said have you lost your mind? because slavery is safe to us by god. slavery was part of the islamic tradition and a part of the christian tradition. it wasn't something -- it was very clear that is what allowed slavery. i think it's very clear that the classical islam are nondemocratic. democracy is a western port. the scene of evolution. you will find very few muslims outside of saudi arabia today who believe that it's vouched
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safe to them by god. there has been a successful alteration of the islamic identity on that issue. i would just suggest that the democracy is also one of those issues. >> has evolved? >> i'm sorry to slightly amend the question. the question is about muslims, not about islam, the same way that the question is not about christianity or judaism. it's how people act and organize themselves politically. the jews and christians in the course of history have themselves had a rather checkered experience not only with democracy but self-government more specifically. those of us in this room know that we have screwed it up a couple times, and now we are -- >> doing it again.
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[laughter] >> i will be a little bit more generous. there is a challenge under way. so, muslims are dealing with their challenge not just in self-government but how we organize self-government, and the space principles can be reconciled with traditional muslim principles the muslims and the world today over 21st figured out space principles unsuccessfully they figured it out does that mean the tension has gone way? absolutely not. it's especially alive in that part of the muslim world where the arabic society culture and civilization. >> let me ask this question, and
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i think i heard it a few times, but this notion that's how they discredit themselves and perhaps ultimately get saddled with the mundane issues that have garbage collection and other things and ultimately find themselves moderating. is that and inevitably? >> i didn't even get to the complaint. he didn't make the best possible case that he could make and that case basically amounts if we are going to achieve a future in which the muslim majority states have rid themselves of these exceptions, ideological, socialism, islam, baptism and so one, there's no way out but through. they have to experience it for themselves. the evidence of that is to look at what i would guess is 80% who detest their regime to test the
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ayatollah and the whole system they have been living under for an entire generation, and now you have a majority but no living memory who want nothing more than to get rid of this system. i am not sure that's kind of a strange argument to say that we have to go through and lived through 30 years of tyranny in the threat to the world to get out to the other side. maybe that is true. so, maybe that's an argument, but where i don't see this to be the case is the notion they are going to come to power and say egypt or the palestinian authority didn't collect the garbage as well as they had promised, and so in a way that they operate in concord massachusetts or madison wisconsin they are going to have an election and other parties
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are going to look forward and do a better job of the mundane tasks of governments because that is not what these parties are all about. they said it very well we didn't have a resolution to bring down the price. they are not interested in these facts. there is no experience i am aware of of an islamist government simply saying time is up and we are walking off the stage. i don't think it is going to have been in turkey either. >> i agree with brett. i do not find it terribly compelling arguments that say we are going to pick up the trash and moderate. the muslim brotherhood is about virtue. we have yet to see that argued in egypt but i guarantee that it's coming. that's what you want to see coming. you want to see them start having the organic debate that they were having around the year 1900 and got awarded by the
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arrival of dictatorship. we need to have them have the basic slugfest among the people of faith. it's not going to be the liberals that people are essentially like us in the middle east to are going to drive al qaeda out. it's going to be people of faith. the battle is among them it's not among those that are e essentially already asked. >> i'm sorry but you cannot just claim that people of faith for the islamists if you go to egypt today 80 some odd million people nearly all of them will say that they are people of faith and the muslim brotherhood on the contrary is a well-organized and well disciplined party but only about six or 800,000 members and tentacles all around the country that organized and do all sorts of things but you cannot say that people of faith equal
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islamist. is and ideologies about achieving political power for a certain political goal, not a virtue. it's people of faith, not all liberals who vote for the muslim brotherhood. when the liberals however you want is a motley crew in egypt and they come back and talk to me. estimate i want to add on that though that i think we all realize we are in a recent stage where there are multiple centers of power but you do have a liberal forces and they are in the streets using politics and about box and the point i was trying to stress is i think the u.s. writ large, the government and also the civil society organizations and others were standing on the side lines here. they have to do private city along the same line. right now i think the u.s. policy, and again, u.s. government policy that those of you i think in the civil society
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and others were sitting on the sidelines here where there's a desire among the political forces including the under islamists who want to bring about change in their political movement and were for the large part sitting on the side line here and we need to do more. >> we do need to move on to the q&a portion here. i would like to take a few questions from the audience the if you have a question raise your hand. we have migrants' circulating and we will take ten minutes before we begin to wrap up. >> i'm on the center for democracy and human rights in saudi arabia in washington, d.c. what's missing over on these discussions which i tend to miss them less and less is the fact that islamists haven't been told all along.
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the other point is there is a new generation who are very different than their fathers and grandfathers. what we should be focusing on i think -- there is something we should be focusing on. our democracy is threatened by the islamic ideology. what shall we do about the threat to democracy because they are going to shoot their problems out and they are focusing on their own homegrown problems blaming us and these other people. what should we do about the ideology focusing and the destruction of the democracies. >> what anybody like to take
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that one? [laughter] >> it begins by recognizing what it is. a couple of years ago before the movement there was a prominent article in the foreign affairs of the moderate muslim brotherhood. now, the term moderate is one of these very slippery terms because to us, it means someone like us. but in reality, all it defines a position in a given political context. there were moderate nazis. albert was a moderate not see but he was still a nazi. there are shades of brothers and islamists, and you probably consider the brotherhood even more extreme brothers to be moderate next to the less extreme. but as far as anyone in this room is concerned, these people
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are extreme. we need to have some kind of a great understanding of who these groups are and how in chemical their values are to our own. we also have to have -- so that is the first point. the first one is something that rob said in his remark which is that we need to respect to the art. respect is not to endorse. respect is to understand the gravity of what they are about. it's not about the delivery of the social service. they are about virtue. the fundamental political distinction going all the way back to the greeks is the question argue a virtue based society or freedom based society? islamic republic in iran, the new government in egypt, all of them organize their political life on the basis of what they believe is a virtue.
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at the heart of the virtue society is a totalitarian society. because it dictates your scope of action in life. dictates the fundamental choices about who you marry and all kinds of stuff. that is another way in which we need to understand. and that also leads to some deeper appreciation of how to go about tackling this. very briefly, we should distinguish liberalism from democracy. if democracy is simply a process, it is just -- you had an election, people can vote for their own enslavement and often do. people forget this. we are all for freedom. no, i am sorry that there is a constituency in the world that is pro submission. this is a kind of psychosexual fact of life that isn't fully
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appreciated in the west. how do you distinguish? you go from democracy to liberalism coming and you try the best you can to promote the spirit of liberalism even if it is at the expense of democracy. >> you have a response to that? >> i'm listening to this discussion that i have enjoyed thoroughly to it i may agree or disagree with some of the things that were said the problem here in washington is that i teach you look at the democracy, freedom and liberal from promotion mechanisms that we have and they are also not as nimble as they need to be. when i look at benghazi u.s said the bigger policy debate we need to be having is how we actually influence the next state? the ambassador who was killed to honor his memory we need more
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people who were speaking arabic, who understand who are the types of different political forces that we can work with and those that we actually need to kill and right now the debate isn't about that. it's a little bit intellectual, it is narrow and focus in the corner, getting the facts straight i think is important. but right now we are not well placed on egypt or some of those other countries in the region, and i think collectively to actually have our role in shaping them. >> thank you, gentlemen. let me say not write the very much enjoyed the debate. if i may, two points what i sought was missing especially what i would like to hear from robert and bret. if this path leads us down the road that will not lead to democracy in the middle east but what is the alternative path? because we certainly tried a lot of dictatorship and aligning the
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united states with tierney in the region and that didn't work so i would like to hear your point of view my second point is the islamists. we're sort of using a very broad brush your because there are many different types of islamists in the region and certainly hezbollah shares very little with the muslim brotherhood. and watching i think how things are going in egypt and was mentioned quite a bit here because of its role in the region, the week that it carries, well, somebody who considers themselves a secular liberal i'm not too upset about the way things are going in egypt to but i'm not concerned about having mohamed morsi having to face millions of men increase egyptians in the street. i take note when they come to power and of a sudden the treaty with israel is not their number one priority. when they are not banning alcohol for the sake of the economy. so, when we talk about islamists i think we have to take note that some are different than others and some will naturally have to be more pragmatic if
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they will be in the position of power. >> let me unpacked a couple of thoughts. this is directed to the rather slippery aspect of the argument made months ago. it on the one hand people of equal faith then everyone on the other side are liberal i don't believe i ever used that term on anything i said. the opposite is non-islamist. there's a huge spectrum of people who are who will run into the streets because they are like that guy in the network they are mad as hell with their life is when to be like under the s. con. res. rule and they go from radical communist on the
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one hand and many people of faith. five times a day to press the muslims as opposed to people that are i know the ham and cheese eating muslims. those are the natural audience. it's everyone that is opposed to the totalitarian agenda of the muslim brotherhood, and its huge out there. and this is where the friendly debate between my partner and i disagree. bret and i disagree. in a truly free and fair elections where there is a level playing field and the institutions of the government are working and non-islamists will triumph. i have an answer to the operational --
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>> about what you do i am very simple during the cold war say in afghanistan we pay the price, we the public, the cold war was the top priority, and we are launching the number one to defeat the enemy. there were negative results and the results the goal was the end of the cold war and we won and the soviet union is gone. today i don't mind giving money to communists and leftists and socialists and helping them because i'm not worried about the return of the cold war. i'm not worried about the leftists coming to power. that should be the biggest challenge that we face. right? we should not be in different to the outcome in egypt and countries across the middle east. we can both play a role in assuring a level playing field
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and in assisting those who we have an outcome in their success. we can do both. they are not into that a call, and that should be what our agenda is in these countries. >> okay. we have a few comments. >> i would agree with a lot of what brought said. i certainly believe in that unleashing the agency even though it doesn't want to be unleashed to support covertly because i don't think anybody is going to openly take our money. but covertly supporting all of the liberals and the motley crew rob mentioned. i'm all for it. through as much cash as you can find that we can get out of washington and how they organize and hope they win. but the lot of them winning is poor. and as robb didn't touch -- in turkey they had free elections.
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and there were lots of liberals and they were collecting all the rest but there were lots of them everywhere. more secularized muslims than anyplace else and guess what they lost and then they lost again. and they lost in the free elections. so go ahead and do it. by all means, the united states should use the bully pulpit, support liberals, support people of faith who are not islamists among. but be prepared to can do that and they're still going to lose. you are going to have to have islamists i think coming to power as we have seen and you are going to have to have the great debates with them in power. >> very briefly i am of two minds about supporting liberals because mine you go out in some places like cairo and meet liberals they tend to be nauseating. [laughter] and their idea of liberalism is what they read in in noam chomsky book. [laughter] [applause]
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so there is a real question reuel is right we could be serving a lot of money at buy a laptop computers for the young liberal society of alexandria and it's just money down the drain. i'm always strickland -- i remember having a meeting with the deputy that the brotherhood of the six or seven years ago it turned out he had a degree from the university of missouri and mohamed morsi has a degree from northridge for -- there you go. most of the leadership -- most of the early iranian leadership had a degree is from american universities. and the problem we face is quite fundamental. there is no easy solution to this cost which is that in effect, we hear in the midwest have been trashing the good name of liberalism and pushing out a bogus garbage liberalism which has been readily received and
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advised by students from the millrace coming to the american universities and sucking up this stuff and then going back and starting the revolution. where does it come from? the iranian revolution comes from the ideas in the 1960's and the 70's and done on the western universities and it's a very fundamental problem but it's just with recognizing that until someone says actually liberalism as we define it is what you find and government and the federalist papers and took that's what liberalism is, then you can start constructing an idea that can compete with islamism because it basically says we stand for justice. every party is the justice and development party or the justice of freedom party were justice this and justice that.
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how do you offer a competing liberal vision in the arab world that can stand up against that? i don't think we are -- we are throwing money at it or have some program or some covert action we need to approach the issue with a sense of loss of a plea. the reality is that there is very little that we can do except locally protect the interest that we currently have in the region we can then the next 30 or 40 years about how you create the genuine liberals who may someday run their country. i grew up in mexico, this horrible backward place with these loser presidents and also you get the guys like fox and culbert roane and where do they come from? they have a ph.d. from the university of chicago. that's what happened. it was like ten guys so find those ten people, educate them and maybe some of it will come
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20 years down the road. >> you mentioned the justice component of a lot of these parties. there is an argument that can be made that this is a response to the corruption of these u.s. sponsored regimes, and i would say that in the case you mentioned the was a very serious component. any thoughts about how to combat that in the right direction? >> for the record i am against corruption. >> good. good. to clear that up, yes, look it goes back to the point that i thought i made my remarks that islamists didn't win in the dimond islamists lost with the day before were corrupt regime or the division on dimond islamist party today they lose, they lose by screwing up the delivery of the services and by being so corrupt and ossified
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and the islamists are there like they have been for 80 years waiting to take advantage of whatever opportunity through violence or nonviolence and we have even discussed the relationship with violence and nonviolence which is very important, and they are there to reap the benefits of these regimes. we can build -- we can help the alternatives build. >> we have a question and the far corner over there. >> yes, my name is greg with the center of the international policy. thank you for the debate. my point here is that there has been a suggestion by some of the panelists that once they come to power in the ballot box they won't give up power and we are going to have a renewed a dictatorship in the middle east. but the event in egypt over the past few weeks suggest that you
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have a new politicized class of people that are not going to take that. so, i agree with one of the previous questioners that in some respects this is quite healthy that you are going to have these deactivates and divisions within the arab world or the muslim world, and people are not going to accept dictatorships like they had in the past. i was wondering if the panelists could comment on that. ..
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at the task is actually how do you actually play the right role of engaging and it's not naïvely giving money to little groups and things like this and not having a strategy. but this is a significant task and it's an encouraging sign and i think, this is my prediction and we may disagree, that is going to force islamist political parties, at least elements of it is change their ideology. if the system remains open that is what they get and if there's a big debate i don't see it going backwards in terms of the diversity in egypt as large as it is. it's hard for me to imagine that going backwards. >> okay, we are going to move to our closing remarks and we will be going in reverse order sabrett you can have two minutes to make your final plea to
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convince its this audience against the motion. >> in 1979, jeane kirkpatrick wrote an influential article in "commentary" magazine about double standards in which he argued what is now i guess the paleoneocon position that i thought myself recently attracted to. the united states is better served supporting if necessary, not always but if necessary, secular authoritarian regimes against totalitarian alternatives. now totalitarian alternatives then, as now, often can come to power by means of democratic or populist movements but just because they come to power that way doesn't mean they govern that way. that is a distinction worth keeping alive in our minds. i would love to imagine the
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political space and all these terms in washington, the political space has been open for new forms of competition. pallone, okay? it's the french revolution. tim will be set it right the first time, start with the ultimate tennis court and now entered the terrorist stage and let's pray for -- we are now seeing the providence of the process of totalitarianism coming into too many middle eastern middle eastern countries. it's important to recognize that for what it is. it's important to see who these guys are. is important -- they come in all kinds of a rainbow for adf shades of islamism. they'd don't, okay it's black, gray or very dark blue. that is what i would urge people to think about. one last point. of course they say we need to
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learn about these guys, but the second treatise of government comes out of millard fillmore who argues for monarchy and monarchy is looking better and better in the middle east. if there's there is one country that seems to have figured it out so far it's morocco and maybe that should be a model for other places in the future world. >> thank you bret. brian? >> my basic argument for the proposition on our side of the debate is opening your eyes and two years into these uprisings changing and a region of the world narrowly focused on the middle east which has about 20 countries that have seen political change in leadership in four of them and in two of those countries we have seen islamist forces come to power at the ballot box and two others
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islamist political parties are playing some sort of a role, more marginal in libya. it's the start of the process and i think our response from washington has been very sort of philosophical and intellectual but not very operational. i think the process moving forward is looking at the demographic, socioeconomic treasures that these take. some of these country political islamist forces will come to power and they will face competition from other non-islamist. they face competition from others. politics is becoming much more complicated in the middle east and what worries me the most in washington and on capitol hill is that we ourselves don't have a functional political discourse about her own issues let alone how do we respond in clear strategic ways to the events in the region? i think the region is in for a longer period of time of changes in europe and i also think america plays an important role
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and should play an important role in this but right now our voices have been largely muted by internal divisions in some way the cynicism in our government and outside of government that has ossified and the main argument is it's upon us and more is coming. more changes coming. some of that will include islamist forces in meaning to figure out how to best use our power to shape and influence that. >> thank you very much. onto rob and. [inaudible] a couple of closing points. first, collectively, i think maybe i will just say myself generally we tend to project a certain bigotry of low expectations on muslims in the arab culture, which is those of
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us who are of various religious base here know the extent to which we practice our faith and how faithful we are to this or that religious prescription and we know that we fall pretty darn short but we think muslim, they all pray five times a day. they never touch the scotch. they all do, you know, every commandment of islam and of course they all submit to the will of their imam and etc., etc., etc.. it doesn't work that way. muslim practice in general is not so far different than the practice here and muslims want to be political the way we want to be political. let us not fall prey to the bigotry of low expectations that they can't make reasonable choices about their own political organization, and that therefore, if you fall prey to that you will accept the
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proposition that islamism, essential, unavoidable, inevitable. malarkey. it it is not unavoidable. it is not inevitable. flood in politics is unavoidable and inevitable? it's certainly not essential that if we want to defeat the great ideology that jim woolsey spoke about this morning, if we want to do that great -- it's certainly not essential that we embrace people who have their ideology. because then what does that say about us? it means that we are vanquished cowards in the face of that ideology. so let us try to -- through the ones we have used in the past against other ideologies and we know it works. we can find men and women in this part of the world who will be our partners.
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>> okay last but not least. >> rob was make in my arguments for me until the very end there. i strongly recommend that you read jeane kirkpatrick's and my good friend bob kagan's demolition of that essay later. i would just say this. ayman al zawahiri knows what he talking these talking about when he says that democracy is -- and it's spreading through the muslim body politic and that it is perhaps the number one thing they do. the ayatollah in iran knows when he says we have to kill off democracy because in iran, where they have a fraudulent democratic system, the process of actually going out to vote created the earthquake in 1997
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and created even greater earthquakes in 2009. there is not a single cleric, single first-rate cleric in iran with the exception of him, who will argue against democracy now. he is the only one. i do not have enough time here to explain all the individuals who were die hard, revolutionary, die-hard anti-american islamists in iran who have fallen away because of the practices of the theocracy. now we don't know what the evolution will be entered democratic system as opposed to a dictatorship that under a dictatorship, we have seen a complete falling away of the intellectual class towards the democratic ethic. if there had been a pre-election 2009, we would not have to worry about iran today. we would not have to worry about the nukes. i suggested that the jousting event of the democratic process will give you a better chance of
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evolution then you have seen under dictatorship and we might not have to wait that long to see that evolution happened. >> even not having a free election you had enormous evolution occur amongst people who were at one at one time died revolutionaries. they suggest that evolution would be greater in the democratic system or where you just have as much voting as you have now. >> we are going to have to leave it here. please give a round of applause to our panelists. [applause]
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>> we have had these explosions of knowledge, but we have not coordinated care and all the services that we have end up having so many cracks that the cracks are as harmful as the diseases that we are are treating and you have got to step back and ask, you know, are we hurting people overall? on a global level what are we
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doing sometimes and of course now we have got -- 30% that would not be necessary and health care. when we step back 30% of all the medications we prescribe, the test we order and the procedures this is something i think which is for the first time really being called out as a problem. >> lawmakers from both sides of the aisle met this week to unofficially discuss what is called the fiscal cliff. house budget committee ranking democrat chris van hollen, tennessee republican senator bob corker and other spoken of for him on the debt negotiations. the hour-long discussion was hosted by bloomberg government and the deloitte consulting company.
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>> good morning. i am the head of bloomberg government. thank you for joining us today and thank you to delayed for partnering with us at this event. plenary lunch limburg just over two years ago we had the aspiration of creating a one-stop shop with data, tools, news and proprietary knowledge to help government affairs, government professionals make better and faster decisions. we are a long way to succeeding in that but a big part of it is convening conversations on the big issues that face the nation today particularly at the intersection of business and government. today's discussion on the fiscal cliff clearly exceeds that far. we are honored to have such a thoughtful panel. senator mark warner, senator bob corker, congressman chris van hollen, governor tim pawlenty
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who is currently president and ceo of the financial services roundtable. moderate in our discussion today is albert hunt. we always love having l over here. he really put limburg on a map in d.c. and yesterday was his birthday so happy birthday. [applause] i'm going to turn things over to tom davis who is the man who really needs no introduction. he has been a great friend over the years. i would be remiss if i didn't give his full official title at deloitte. he is the director of federal government affairs. please join me in welcoming congressman tom davis. [applause] >> thank you and most importantly i left congress undefeated and unindicted so i am very happy about that. on behalf of deloitte i want to thank our all-star panel,
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senator corker, governor pawlenty, congressman van hollen in senator warner for participating in our all-star moderator albert hunt for giving up his birthday and we appreciate that. this is hopefully the first of many events that deloitte will be partnering with an bloomberg government. we are particularly invested in solving the fiscal cliff. rc eo has met with the president and with other ceos to discuss the impending crisis. we have even published her own study on the deficit, copies of which are available here today. we look forward to continuing this conversation, keeping the dialogue ongoing over the next month and it's critical and we want to solve this problem and we think it will be very enlightening on what the issues are. with that i'm going to turn it over to you in the panel. thank you very much. >> can everybody hear? [inaudible]
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we do have an all-star panel. tim pawlenty the former governor of minnesota, i wrote that i thought he would have made the strongest presidential candidate. tim is now the head of the financial services roundtable, a job he took a month or two ago and he will be a huge player in washington. chris i have to say, first of all you kept two-thirds of your own district but your margins didn't go down at all. maybe a little bit. i know the county, one county represents for my son as and let's just say -- is a liberal
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but he did an incredible job. two senators now and on mars reminded when bob dole left the house to go to the senate, the single act -- [inaudible] bob corker is from a state that i think is produced more important politicians over the last 40 years. it's a relatively small state that howard baker, al gore. it really as an incredible testament. it probably goes back to the -- [inaudible] mark warner probably more than anyone, mark warner probably more than any single leader has taken his state of virginia from a fairly reliable red state to a state that i would call almost white, bluish purple. he left the governor of several
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years ago so he has been out of state government for several years and he is most popular leader in the state of virginia and has been. not only has he achieved that but has been a member of the united states congress. that really is extraordinary. this is going to be really fun today. a quick click preface. i've been in this town for 43 years and i have never seen anything like the last month. people i think are rallying together and galvanizing and it shows you what strong leadership can do. i don't think very many people think we have a strong leader, even more given the history of this panel to have an african-american like this is just extraordinary. i think rg3 deserves incredible credit. now we can talk about the fiscal cliff. [laughter] let me start off just by, what we will do chris, we will do the house rules and cut in half.
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in 30 seconds and then we will have time to elaborate on all of this. i just want to go through the panel. what do you think the odds are that some kind of appeal will be cut by january 1 in order to avoid sequestration? mark, i will start with you. >> i think it's 80% that we will avoid sequestration. the question is though, is this going to be a big enough deal and will it actually be the down payment that will lead to something else? it will actually avoid the consequences. that percentage would be lower than the 80%. >> let's come back to the big picture. just in the short-term by january 1, will we avoid the cliff? >> i think it's likely that we will avoid it. it's so easy for us just to do what we need to do. i think the real line in the
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sand is -- and i have said that for a long time. i think that is one hopefully by that time we will have real entitlement reform which will bring all of this together. >> chris? >> i think it's better than 50% that we are able to get an agreement for january 1, but that is premised on the belief that our republican colleagues will recognize they are -- and if that doesn't come true, it's less than that. >> i would concur given the consequences. i think the odds are north of 50% of some sort of deal would be reached to avoid the fiscal cliff and i know it's hard to read the tea leaves because in the meantime you have these offers that are not serious. it's like fiscal cliff bungee jumping.
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i believe the odds are good that there'll be some sort of deal made. >> let's get into the longer-term deal which i think almost everyone agrees, entitlement reform and tax reform is going to take place in 2013 and maybe 14. it's a long process but just in the short term, can the republicans, can enough republicans while a win say we don't like it but we will have to go along for now whether it's 39.6% rate in comeback with the promise next year of trying to lower it and broaden the base? >> i would much prefer we do the kind of reform that i laid out in a bill a few weeks ago, not inking this bill would become law but this bill would show a path forward with $4.5 trillion in savings. i think that, in the event that the house feels that when they see that the senate is obviously
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controlled by the democratic party and the democratic president, he basically have a president, let's say without being too exhorted is a one trick pony. the rate has always been talked about and really nothing else and in the event the house sees that there is no way out that ultimately you hold the rest of the country hostage if they don't do something. if they do that, what does happen all of a sudden the president has to actually do something that is real on entitlement side. i would just say to you i would hope that what we do in the interim, to end up with something that works for the country with revenue, works for republicans from the standpoint of revenue and in that package, also, have entitlement reform happened because they think we have all seen the discretionary task that is mostly bogus.
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the only thing that i think republicans really with people like chris who has been reasonable in all of this believe israel is entitlement reform. so i would hope that we would end up having and by the way this is all so easy. is easier to implement the policies that need to be implemented to solve our problems than it is to create a process to negotiate and create another fiscal cliff down the road. i hope we will not do that. i still think there is time before the end of the year to let that happen but again again if it doesn't happen unfortunately what that does is throw up another debt ceiling this way which is just not good for our country. we would be so much better off starting january the first looking in the rearview mirror. our economy would take off in our country would be so much better off. >> chris, you understand the politics of the house from both
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sides. can john boehner cut a deal without eric cantor and paul ryan? >> well i have a pretty good understanding of the house, but i'm always wondering into leadership politics. just to broaden the question a little bit, i think the question is whether or not the speaker is going to be able to bring a good part of his caucus, and that will require a united leadership team. >> just to interrupt, and talking short-term. >> i understand and i think that is going to be a requirement. i think one of the decisions that the speaker will have to make is whether he is prepared to put a bill in agreement on the floor of the house that by not have the majority of republicans in the house to support. that is one of the questions,
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because senator corker points out that there are a number of ways to say yes on this but it's not clear in my mind whether there is a way that necessarily brings the majority of the house republicans. not that we can't get a majority in the house but the hastert rule after speaker hastert you have to have half the republicans the matter what before you can bring a bill to the house and that could clearly complicate matters. people should understand there is no requirement to get a majority vote in the house without necessarily having a caucus. >> even though i hate to mention birthdays, when you were a little kid it was tip o'neill. so it wasn't just republicans. >> but there have been moments. they have done without a majority majority of. >> let me ask you about a republican in wearing your hat at the public service roundtable now, if you were to go along or
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the country were to go along with restoring that top rate, what kind of commitment would you like to get in order to do that because you can't do anything in the next few weeks. you can't reform entitlement. >> if i might, al stepping back from that question directly i really applaud senator corker's respect to getting something done totally by the end of the year. that is great and i would hope for that but i don't know if that will happen. it's a wonderful goal and behind that, all of these ideas have been pink papered and white papers, seminar and data run for 20 years of the options are not a mystery. the options of what might be done have all been put on the shelf for a long time in the question is do we collectively as the congress have the will and the inclination to do anything? when i was the governor we have
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the first government shutdown in minnesota in 150 years and we had dynamic -- we had a very dramatic moment with divided government and the executive legislature and i learned some things in that moment. one was, you can't corner people so totally and so badly that they have no way out. because if you do that and you don't allow some face-saving way out of the corner they will have no choice but to do something dramatic. and it's a very delicate situation and there is a margin where people can miscommunicate. there is a margin of error that has to be factored into the discussions. and in that moment, back in 2003 i had a lot of leverage with the newly-elected governor and a lot of political leverage and had the upper hand in the negotiations. i put the pedal to the metal and i won that round. however, the ill will that came from pushing it all the way to the other side was so strong
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that years later, legislative leaders remembered how difficult that negotiation was and how unreasonable in their minds that i was. we were still talking about paybacks years later in future negotiations. i just share that, as you think about not just this moment that the relationships in the congress with the president going forward in the next four years. it's unclear whether there are enough republicans to support or even consider a rate increase generally but at the very least i think they would want to see not just that question but they'd want to see what does it come with and describe it as two wings of a plane. we have a lot of people working on the tax side which is one wing but not what's -- much crystallization of the spending cuts in entitlement.
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are rethinking too small now?
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is there some kind of the package? >> one of the problems is bob and chris are equally involved in this. as you get deeper and deeper into slowly sink into baseline health which can get you in a circular circumstance and a lot of the numbers were off at 2010 base that we keep coming back to an an in certain ways so yes, the number of what it takes keeps going up, but when you count -- bob and i can have some discussion and pretty much everybody agrees depending on where you start. you've got between 900,000,000,001.1, 1.2 trillion, i'm sorry, and cuts already made. i get a little worried about the so-called oh accounts and how much you really want to count
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those, whether that is washington funny money talk that when you add interest and other things, the notion that a 4 trillion plus deal over a 10 year frame, with whatever your revenue to spending cut ratio is, it's so much smaller than what is being asked of people in every other industrial country in the world as a percent of their government spends and as a percent of their overall community. but it's almost un-american that they wouldn't be willing to rise to this challenge and echoing on what bob has said, i fundamentally agree, a real deal would do more for economic growth and more to get capital off the sidelines not just in terms of american companies but international companies that are looking where to invest, with the challenges in europe, with china going through a transition and india's political system that is more dysfunctional than
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us, we look 30 darn good. if we can put a real plan in place. >> what would be the size of a real plan? >> i think it's north of four but so much of this goes back to where you start. two points, at least on the opening round question that i want to address. is important to remember that the simpson-bowles plan which has gained a lot of attention, the gang of six and the presumption presumptions that went into those plans assumed that all the populace would go back up. and when you start on that kind even though i think simpson-bowles is an idea that would ring top rates down to the high 20s and you could have obstruction, he wouldn't see the kind of across-the-board almost staring out of some places of taxes and interest that would require. they can show a path towards
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meaningful tax reform even with the rates at the higher level. this is one of the things where i think that those of us on the democratic side need to help bring some clarity. we fall around the notion that increasing the rates, going back to the push levels, on your baseline it gets you close to a trillion dollars in additional revenue. the issue is though, we need to perhaps better socialized those increasing rates. the rates themselves on the income tax hikes only get you a little more than half of that amount. the other pieces, capital gains going back up, going to ordinary rates and estate tax not even going back to the compromise, i do worry a little bit that we need to have some clarity on
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this. we use this code, we are bringing the rates back up. we have to make sure is this a 544 billion-dollar revenue increase or a 300 million-dollar revenue increase because what is in that bucket, and they think we need to have that bit more -- >> i want to come back to the tax but the other part of this is entitlement reform. the president has proposed some entitlement things that they are almost all i think on the provider side. they aren't as big as a lot of people say would be necessary. if the republicans give on taxes, will the democrats be willing to give on issues like raising the eligibility age, the colas for social security, means testing, medicare for more influence -- affluent recipients >> first let me just say that we would support absolutely a
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balanced approach. it's important to point out as senator warner did that we have done over a trillion dollars in cuts over the next 10 years which the president is committed to keeping. with respect to medicare, we do have a very different approach. there's no doubt we have to bring down the health care costs growth. the differences we believe we should expand on the kind of reforms that we need in the affordable care acts. where we see $716 billion in savings, not simply across-the-board but by changing the incentive structure, the way we pay providers so we focus on the value of care rather than the volume of care. i do think it's ironic that we have gone in the last four weeks with many of our republican colleagues criticizing the president for having done too much savings on medicare, $716 billion am in their presidential candidate propose putting that money back and. in other words adding
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$716 billion back into the cost of medicare, complaining that the president doesn't want to do a enough. >> who was that presidential candidate? >> the point is i don't want to relitigate the campaign but this is an important point i think which is he proposed that we put 716 billion-dollar cost back into medicare which would have actually shortened the life of the trust fund by eight years. now, the presidents budget and i invite people to look at it, and the next 10 year window if you begin the 10 10 year, compared o the ryan republican budget on medicare, more medicare savings in the 10 year window then they republican budget had. it's in a different way. he does ask partisan -- pharmaceutical companies going going back to rebates like in 2003 and he also has reforms in medigap and other areas in the number of other things the president does there. so yes, we need to look at the
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long-term medicare issues. we need to start that in the affordable care acts. we can build on those things with respected dual eligibles and how we better coordinates that care. it's a very different approach than simply transferring rising health care costs on to seniors which by the way doesn't reduce overall health care costs. it just transfers them. all the data shows you that if you look at the per capita increase in health care costs, the medicare system compare to the health system, medicare compares very favorably. so simply moving somebody out of the medicare system into the private health care system, shura transfer some of those costs but if you look at overall health where we spend 18% plus our national gdp on way more than the other oecd countries. we should be finding that are ways to deal with that. >> i want to bring up tax reform but on all of this, i want all
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of you to feel free to jump in at any time. there is a sense, we can do it all through tax reform. anybody who lived through the reagan tax reform, let me just give you a couple of differences from then and now. than they were looking for something that was revenue-neutral and now we talk about tax reform is raising the limit. back then they indeed did lower the rate. how did they lower the rates? the huge corporate tax. that is off the table now. they increase the capitol gains rate to ordinary income which i think most, many republicans and more than a few democrats have said is unacceptable and finally, they had problems i think with that question, the most politically brilliant treasury secretary and deputy we have ever seen in this country and tim baker and they had people on capitol hill on the other side who were dying to work together. we don't have any of that and we talk about tax reform is if it's
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a magic panacea. >> well i mean you solve a story today in "the new york times" about tax policy is certainly not a right of center institution and is left of his left of center orly center. if you cap it at $50,000.750 billion over 10 years, if you change cpi which i think mark has embraced -- >> including including charitable sin? >> you can include charitable than that but you can also look at the health care which by the way is the most passive that exist and i don't know why people in the income category that mark and i are in and al -- [inaudible] >> bob, i hate to tell you he is in a higher category. [laughter] >> don't publish that soon. but i don't know why, i don't know why we shouldn't continue to have the benefits of our
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health care plans coming to us in a tax-free way so they're all kinds of ways of looking at it. i do realize that to do real tax reform takes time but i think we could go ahead and do some things. for instance, the 50,000-dollar -- i realize that it's been a nonstarter so far. i think we are going to end up with half the nation and address on the things that mark said a minute ago. candidly if the president got, and all the as talked about and they think it's an advantage to the state. i personally believe that. we have constituents who come up to see us and say please do this rate increase on the 2% but if you got it is marked mentioned, if you don't functional eyes all the other things than you really haven't done anything and i think what tom was saying the other day, maybe we should give it to him because all of a sudden there is a debate that
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takes place about the real thing. i want to just come back and say you can easily get over a trillion dollars in revenue with a four page bill, dealing with a tax increase and again it's not something that a lot of northeastern states like. i realized their highest state and local taxes but you can get there and what i hope will happen instead of spiking the ball, the president will sit down with boehner, who i really think wants to do something and both sides agreed, i hope they will sit down and mesh something together that republicans can be okay with and write the kind of revenues that we need but also to -- the kind of entitled reforms and al i love you and you know that and i really love the things you said about that other person -- [laughter] but the fact is the decision, as tim said early on, all the
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options for reg entitlement reform have been discussed and they have gone on for two years. we all know what they are. it's very simple to put them in legislative language and to kind of put this off again, just continues the misery that the american people are living through. i just don't see the need to not address the revenue now but also not to go ahead and address entitlement. if we need to do more tax reforms down the road after we do what we are doing right now, you could go back and do exactly what you just said, do the remainder of the tax reform in a neutral way that you are creating a much flatter code, broader code that doesn't have all the loopholes. >> just quickly on the tax map because very little attention was made to the president's original proposal which in addition to raising the rates on higher income earners has a tax reform proposal and having looked at lots of different tax
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proposals in the so-called supercommittee that presidents -- he says for high income earners we will reduce the value deductions to 20% and actually includes some things beyond the big three, beyond mortgage interest and charitable state and local to include for high income earners some of these other things. but it's very clean. actually you could do this very quickly and it doesn't have the negative impact of some of these tax deductions which depending on your state could totally eliminate the charitable deduction. you would be taxed fully on all of the money you give to charity and are their proposal so the president has a clean way and just to be clear out of the 1.6 billion, that's about 600 million in tax reform and he gets about 1 trillion from raising the income rates and again to put it in perspective, we'll forego the -- go over the cliff its it's $5 trillion in revenue compared to 1.6 and a
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senator warner is pointed out if you look at the bipartisan simpson-bowles, they proposed more revenue than the 1.6 that the president has proposed. that is embedded in their plan so the president's proposal has less revenue embedded in simpson-bowles and he has a tax reform. so i hope people will really take a look at what the president has put on the table and not just, because he did it, say that is not the right approach. >> mark and then tim. >> a couple of things here. just to keep the somewhat in perspective and i do think it's important to kind of with a radio show coming in, how did we get here and both sides got the blame on the so not to lay out one side or the other. in the last 12 years in the country we took $4.5 trillion out of our revenue at the same
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time we doubled the fence and a whole new category spending called homeland security. went to war twice on the credit card and created new entitlement to medicare part d and the entitlement programs have been wonderfully successful, those of us saying we need to entitlement reform not because medicare and social security haven't been successful. they have been successful and consequently we we are living a lot longer which is good but when i was a kid 16 people were working for every one retiree and now it's three. it definitely will be 2:1. there need to be in adjustments and the math deniers around that i have a hard time grappling with. as chris said, nobody is talking in a simpson-bowles gang of six had 2.2 to 2.4 trillion in revenue and i think we need to have those revenue numbers to
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1.6 on the low end, because that will also tie us directly or indirectly into the size of entitlement reforms and if we think we can go bigger, which i do believe, 1.6 is still only a third of what we had in the revenue line in the '90s and at least bobbin i did pretty darned well in the '90s. the american economy did pretty darned well so i think there are ways to get back and on title months i find we have two challenges around that. one is, if you go back to the ryan plan, most of the dramatic changes that he had don't even occur until the second and if there is any crowd to do it you guys that want to do it in front of. most of the entitlement reforms under most proposals really on a phase-in period don't take -- that is what the real problem is yet we have a scoring mechanism
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that doesn't give us any credit for things that happened in the second half. the ryan plan doesn't really touch medicare until 7/10. how do we bridge that and many of my republican colleagues that said we can face again. ..
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what is the business community have at stake? like the business community is impact of not getting done and the impact that is when to have on the economy and that is the
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non-partisan congressional budget office set out doesn't get this done on employment is going back over 9% in 2013 and back into a recession so if you are the leader of a business lobby for economic growth and deployment and the like, that is a huge problem. our members have lots of different views about the details of this but again i just go back and look for the president and the congressional leaders hanft to read some of the president has said publicly the red line for him as tax fairness and raising rates on the wealthy the analogue is a red line for the republicans and they can't raise rates to have been in reconcilable problem so then the problem becomes if the goal is to get more money to wealthy people there's lots of different ways to do that and you heard some consensus perhaps here in capping deductions. there's other ways to do that in terms of limiting or capping
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from certain deductions. there's ways and means testing and for republicans if they are here on an entitlement side we are going to monkey with reimbursements and providers and move slowly towards the value added payments of which is good in the positive for directionally but they don't here we are going to bump up over time the eligibility age is and have what they perceive to be real structural reforms and entitlements even if it is in the second coming and then they say we are not going to do the tax deal or the revenue deal unless we see what they perceive to be real entitlement reforms of the two parties have ultimately the say in what you can live with and what is your ret line and is there overlap and it may be we will see but what we are seeing now is for each side and on the tax reform there are a ton of ways to do
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it. when i was the governor i cut the corporate tax rate in half and cut the deductions my phone started ringing i felt i was going to get beat up by the left. what are you doing? the details matter but you can't push people to a place they can go and the leaders and negotiations have to understand that you communicate and figure out where that, is and you can't corner people with no way out otherwise. >> i'm going to turn to the audience in. >> i want to respond to the entitlement peace. i am a huge fan of paul ryan. i think that -- regardless whether you agree with him riding on entitlement is very
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unfortunate that the budget didn't do anything during the first ten years. that's created an unfortunate set of expectations and i agree. the savings are down the road. there's $27 trillion on the medicare and the compound over time we can actually make changes right now for the medicare program that are not paid for the seniors their painful to politicians, but we can do that and it begins to do the kind of thing that we need to do and i would say three things. the best thing we can do for our country we can do for people struggling in our jobs is to go ahead and do this now, put it in the rearview mirror. the only thing lacking is not in the political courage. second, we have to have entitlement perform that's real and that's where all the money is and serving on the revenue i really do believe if you can get to people in the room we can move beyond those red lines i do
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not think our the democratic and republican side i don't think that there is that big of a difference. i really don't for the political courage to sit down and make the decision. >> three-point unlike rick perry did. [laughter] >> why don't you do the first question and then return. >> right now we are facing the fiscal cliff. last year we were facing the debt ceiling standoff, before that we were looking at several shutdowns it seems like abnormal and it seems abnormal in this type of situation where we are already looking ahead to the
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next potential shutdown for the next debt ceiling altercation. this creates uncertainty in a normal way so how can the congress breakout of this. >> it is in a timely manner. you know, obviously like in maryland we have a lot of contractor defense contractors very concerned about sequestering. i love the fact that many of them say warmer, and do simpson-bowles don't do sequester. everybody's smart and everybody's read it. the top line numbers are almost the same, and a memo to congress the next time you devotee fault
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don't make it so all of that you actually put a gun to your forehead which is kind of what we have done and through the the fault which i hope would be something a little bit going for it. i completely concur with you on the notion that maybe the most ridiculous thing that has taken place in the last couple of years from those who say they want to not make them inefficient is this constant jerking back and forth of the shutdown to the largest organization and the government and the dod is a subset of that in stopping the amount the tens of hundreds of millions of dollars that is lost every time you go in to the halt in the government and stop contracting and restart it is crazy. everybody i've talked to says whenever budget you give us give
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that two to three year one deily kuran way to plan against. >> i would agree that is incredibly inefficient and i would go back to the comment that is why it isn't good to have these red lines. it's best to figure out a way so you don't end up getting it passed the siskel cliffs by creating another one and it ends up yielding. but the best way out we pass a bill on the floor yesterday and it's not interesting we had 98 to zero. you had a majority and a minority and we have all kind of amendments that were agreed to some but it up and some voted down and it passed so that is what we haven't been doing. we have been having bills come out of both leaders' offices in fairness that are intended not to pass that to show
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differences. if we can go through regular order things would be just fine. >> we have irregularities in the house. >> that's true. it hasn't brought compromise but look i would like to see things go through. i'm a big proponent of allowing it to work when it can. i think we do need to recognize that in the area of divided government where you have one party in control of the white house and another in control of the house of congress you're going to have a lot of this give-and-take and that environment is essential. if she went through the last campaign it's not that big of an area. compromise is required. give-and-take people have to accept some things they don't like as part of a larger agreement. i would say that getting a comprehensive agreement now that
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resolves many of these issues would at least reduce the constant threat of the government shut down and that is why this moment is so important going forward. i would also remind everybody [inaudible] the famous showdown with new gingrich. when you have divided government you have clashes of major philosophical differences. the key is to be willing to have an element of compromise as part of the process, and that is exactly what we are trying to lay out to find that point. the best model for all of you that are working so hard on this may be the movie about lincoln. lincoln made deals. he achieved great goals and those are the points that you are making.
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politicians are supposed to play politics. that's what you're supposed to do. that's not a dirty word. the bloomberg view columnist, the legendary bloomberg columnist. bypass it by people and they say this could have been. and you mentioned you can't get people in the corner as the president has done i have to have a tax increase so here's the plan. on december 31st, the bush tax cuts expire, and after you have your champagne and funny hats on at 12:01 on january 1st, there is a low-cost tax cut, and the top rate is at 39.6? this is a

U.S. Senate
CSPAN December 7, 2012 12:00pm-5:00pm EST


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